Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Regal Pecan Tart

Do you like my new layout? I was so engrossed in banners, tweaking CSS, and photographing rosemary (yes, the grass is rosemary!) that I even forgot to eat lunch. I promise I will make socca with caramelized leeks for lunch tomorrow. I promise. I also promise to eat lunch tomorrow and not sit in my pajamas until 4PM throwing fits at my computer when I should be looking for jobs, calling a pro bono client and making food for my (and your) pleasure. Enough of that, though.

My mother actually made this while I got up from my editing perch to take photos now and again. This is a take on the traditional pecan pie, but is instead a pretty tart. There are few things I find corn syrup useful for, and this happens to be the main one. Who doesn't love the warm gooey inside of pecan pie mixed with vanilla ice cream? Tell me, and I'll be sure to have the appropriate reaction. That deliciousness is all about corn syrup.

In addition to tasting amazing, pecan pies and tarts are probably one of the easiest things to make. When my brother and I were in middle school, we rotated into different electives each quarter, one of which was home economics. For the cooking portion of the class, my brother made a pecan pie and bought the crust. Perfect for an 11 year old. If you just throw in the pecans without chopping them or laying them in pretty concentric circles, the non-crust portion basically amounts to mixing six ingredients together in a bowl, laying down some nuts, and pouring (the crust is easy, too). If you're feeling a little fancier and want everyone to think you are an amazing baker, try out this version. I prefer this version to your traditional pie, as the broken up pecans on the bottom create a nice nutty layer and give the tart something extra the pie is usually missing. Unfortunately, I wasn't allowed to cut into or eat the tart--my mom made it for work. Sad.

Recipe from The Dessert Lover's Cookbook by Marlene Sorosky

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
12 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cold and cut up
pinch of salt

3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
3 large eggs
3/4 cup dark corn syrup
2 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. salt
2 cups chopped pecans
1 1/2 cups pecan halves


Preheat the oven to 350F.

1. In food processor, place crust ingredients until the dough holds together and forms a ball.

2. Spray a 9" springform pan. The recipe says a 9" x 3" or 9 1/2" x 2" inch. Press dough evenly over bottom and 1 inch up the sides. The inside doesn't have to be too pretty--you can't see it! Poke with fork, or all hell will break loose.

3. In a mixer, cream butter and sugar. Then add all of your other filling ingredients aside from the pecans. It should be a fairly smooth liquid.

3. Sprinkle chopped pecans over bottom of crust. Cover with half the filling. Then, place your pecan halves, starting from the outside, in concentric circles. Then pour the other half off the filling over the pretty pecans. Tip: start pouring your filling on the outside, and swirl it in circles towards the middle. This prevents you from having to shake the pan or use a spatula to spread out the filling, potentially messing up the pretty. You can even do it a little at a time in circles, and go back and do more so you know it's even. I hope this makes sense.

4. Place pan on baking sheet and bake from 60 to 70 minutes. The crust should be golden and the filling should pass the toothpick test.

5. Whatever you do, let it cool down before you remove it from the pan. It will crack and you will curse yourself and the tart under your breath. You can serve warm, at room temp, and keep in your fridge for a few days. You can apparently even freeze it, but I'd recommend pre-slicing it before you do that for access to easy dessert.


julie said...

That's beautiful! I love how your arranged the pecans in such a pretty pattern. Your site revisions look good too. I think I'm about as obsessed as you are with the page tweeking. My site got a makeover yesterday as well and I barely got up to make my kids lunch I was so engrossed. We'll make up for it today, right?

The Duo Dishes said...

This is definitely regal. It shames the usual pecan pie! And awesome job on that rosemary grass. That's not easy!

The Cilantropist said...

This tart looks really elegant, and I love the new layout of your blog! Those giraffes are just too cute. :)

Lauren said...

Okay! I think the new layout is lovely!

And the pecan tart, well... I think it should be illegal. My mother would die for this!

Oh, and super cool, with the chickpea flour! I need to try something new, too...

What a pretty day in LA, gonna go eat lunch on the balcony...

- Lauren @ http://laurenslittlekitchen.com

Baking Barrister said...

Thanks for the layout love, everyone!

@Due Dishes - I like to shame the usual everything. I enjoy being abnormal. :) The rosemary was the product of me asking myself what food item could be used as grass. Luckily I only put together about 20 blades, photographed and cut and mixed up pieces. Imagine if I laid out 100 blades!

@Julie - Digging the rolling pin banner!

@Lauren - uh, I haven't left the house, but I'm 10 feet from the backyard and the door is open...

kattyskitchen said...

Your new look makes me smile. Applause, applause! TOTALLY LOVE...all caps!

Nice job on that tart, too, Mom! I hope you got some leftovers, but I doubt there were any. ;)

lemonsandanchovies said...

I love pecan tarts but I've never made them myself. I rely on the expertise of others to get my fix. Yours look delish!

Baking Barrister said...

@lemonsandanchovies -- if an 11 year old boy who has no interest in cooking can do it, so can you! I bet you could blow other people's expertise out of the water if you also added a dash of grand marnier.

@kattyskitchen - I got half a slice. Nom.

Barcelonabites said...

What a beautiful tart! I make pecan tarts all the time but none of mine have ever been so visually appealing!

Anonymous said...

I made this dessert about 20 years ago. I brought it to my boyfriend's Thanksgiving and it was a big hit. Marlene Sorosky is amazing....

LaDue & Crew said...

Oh. Em. Gee. I'm making this. Tomorrow. Site looks mahvelous!

Anonymous said...

I made this about 20 years ago too, and it was a big hit. It is lighter than most pecan pies, beautiful in its presentation.

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