Prep 2 hrs
Cook 45 mins
Maida Heatter; Will need individual tartlet pans that measure 4 1/2 inches by 1 1/16 inches
- 1 3⁄4 cups sifted all-purpose flour, plus
- 2 tablespoons sifted all-purpose flour
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 4 ounces unsalted butter, cold and firm, cut into small squares
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon ice water, plus
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons ice water
- 2 eggs
- 2⁄3 cup maple syrup
- 2⁄3 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
- 3⁄4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 teaspoons dark rum
- 2 cups pecans, toasted (halves or large pieces)
- Pastry: add flour, salt, and sugar to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal chopping blade.
- Turn the machine on/off two or three times just to mix the ingredients.
- Add the butter and let the machine run for about 5 seconds until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
- With the machine running, add the yolks and water through the feed tube and process just until the mixture forms a ball.
- Remove dough and form it into a perfectly even fat sausage shape with flat ends, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.
- When you are ready to roll out the dough, cut it into 6 equal pieces (they must be exactly the same size).
- The dough will be too firm to roll immediately; let it stand for a few minutes; flour a pastry cloth and a rolling pin.
- Place a piece of the firm dough on the cloth and press down on it with the rolling pin to soften it a bit, then roll it into a circle 6 inches wide.
- This dough may be turned over once or twice during rolling, if you wish, to keep both sides lightly floured and to prevent sticking; the cloth and rolling pin should be lightly refloured as necessary.
- After rolling out a circle of dough, use anything round and 6 inches in diameter as a pattern (she recommends using a 6-inch flan ring), place it on the dough, and with a small sharp knife cut around the rim to form a perfect circle.
- Then fit the dough into the individual pans.
- With your fingers gently turn in the edge of the pastry to form a narrow hem; the folded edge of the hem should be a bit higher than the top of the pan (with no low spots or the filling will run over).
- The top of the rim will crack slightly when the dough is folded; it is ok.
- Press the double thickness of pastry firmly together against the inside of the pan.
- With pastry pincers, or with tines of a fork, make a neat, ridged design on the rim; place the lined pans in the freezer or refrigerator to become firm.
- Filling: In a small bowl of an electric mixer, beat eggs to mix.
- On low speed, beating only to mix, add the maple syrup, sugar, vanilla, melted butter, and rum.
- When you are ready to bake, position oven rack one-third up from the bottom of the oven; preheat oven to 350°.
- Place the individual pans lined w/ pastry on a jelly-roll pan or a cookie sheet.
- Divide the pecans among the pans, placing them casually, but preferably with the rounded sides up if you are using nut halves.
- Transfer filling to a pitcher that is easy to pour from and pour the filling evenly into the pans, pouring in a slow stream to wet the tops of the nuts.
- Do not fill the pie shells completely at first—if you use too much filling in one shell, there might not be enough to go around.
- The filling should almost, but not quite, reach to the tops of the crusts.
- Bake for 30 minutes, reversing the position of the jelly-roll pan front to back once after about 20 minutes to ensure even browning.
- After 30 minutes the rims should be golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and let stand for 15 minutes; to remove the tarts from the pans—place a pan on a small, narrow jar or other object; the sides should slip down easily, but they might need a little help from you.
- Then use a wide metal spatula to transfer the tart from the bottom of the pan to a rack to cool.
- May serve plain, or with whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream.