Pecan Butter Tarts
- Ready In:
- 2hrs 20mins
For Tart Shells
- 1 1⁄4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1⁄2 cup unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1⁄8 cup ice water
- 2 large eggs
- 1⁄3 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1⁄4 cup light cream (half-and-half, 10% butterfat)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1⁄2 cup pecans (toasted and chopped)
- Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
- For Tart Shells:.
- In a food processor, combine the flour, salt, and sugar. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal (about 15 seconds). Slowly pour 1/8 cup water in through the feed tube until the dough just holds together when pinched. If necessary, add more water to a maximum of 1/4 cup. Do not process more than 30 seconds.
- Turn dough onto work surface and gather into a ball. Flatten into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about one hour.
- After the dough has chilled sufficiently, roll out the dough and cut into 12 - 4 inch rounds. It may be easier to roll the dough between two pieces of plastic wrap, instead of on a floured surface. Gently place the rounds into a 12-cup muffin tin. You may need to coax the rounds into the tin, leaving a fluted edge. Place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to firm up.
- While dough is chilling, toast and chop the pecans. Reserve 12 pecan halves, which will be used to top the tarts.
- For Filling:.
- In a medium sized saucepan lightly whisk the eggs. Add the butter, sugar, and cream. Place on medium heat, bring this mixture just to a boil - stir constantly to prevent scorching. Immediately remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract. (For a runnier filling, remove when filling starts to thicken but has not reached a boil.).
- Place a teaspoon of chopped pecans into the bottom of each tart shell and then fill the unbaked shells with the filling. Top each tart with a whole pecan. Bake for about 15 - 20 minutes or until the pastry is nicely browned and filling is set.
- Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
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