Drum roll please! I am so excited to announce the first (annual?) Holiday Recipe Blog Hop 2016. 18 bloggers are joining me this week to present some awesome, delicious, and yummy recipes for your holiday meals. You may not even need to open a cookbook or Google or Pinterest as you prepare for your Thanksgiving meal. Be sure to check out the participating blogs below. You can access each day’s posts by clicking on the links. And I’m really excited to share with you my contribution to this week’s recipe bonanza; no Thanksgiving meal would be complete without a show~stopping dessert and I have one: Pecan Rum Tart is the Perfect Dessert for Thanksgiving.
In Texas we love pecan pie; in fact, (trivia question here, folks), the pecan tree is our state tree. Other pies, such as pumpkin and chocolate or apple, may be offered, but pecan pie rules. Several years ago, our friend Grant brought his version of pecan pie to a party and we all swooned over it. Grant and I made a deal. I would teach Grant how to roast vegetables and he would teach me how to make his pecan pie. A few weeks later, Sweet Shark and I went over to Grant and his wife’s house for a little cooking class. I can tell you that we ate very well that night. For Thanksgiving that year I used Grant’s recipe and it was a super big hit. Recently, I interviewed him for a magazine article about his pecan rum tart and sweet Grant said I could share his recipe which he has been perfecting and tweaking for years. Everyone say, thank you, Grant!
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Grant’s dough is a pie crust, but he bakes it in a 15~inch tart pan. That’s a hard size to find so I adjusted the crust amounts for a 10~inch tart pan. This crust is easy because it’s made in the food processor and it doesn’t require chilling unless you want to make it ahead of time.
TIP#1: Pay attention to how the recipe reads when it calls for sifted flour: 1 cup sifted flour means to sift before measuring; 1 cup flour, sifted mean to sift after measuring.
Make sure that your butter is very cold.
TIP #2: Cube the butter and then put it back in the fridge while you gather the other ingredients.
TIP #3: Put a few ice cubes in a measuring cup and fill with water. Tap water is not cold enough.
Add all the ingredients except the ice water to your food processor. Process just until thoroughly combined.
Add 1 tablespoon of water at a time and pulse the food processor. Continue until you can squeeze a small bit of the dough and it holds together ~almost like cookie dough.
TIP #4: When you purchase tart pans, make sure they have removable bottoms!
On a lightly floured counter, roll out the crust dough. For a 10~inch tart pan, roll to 11 ~ 12 inches. For a 4 1/2 tart pan (I love mini~tarts!), roll out to 5 ~ 6 inches.
Place the crust in the tart pan and gently push into the edges and up to the top of the sides. Use pieces of dough to fill in where needed.
TIP #5: Use a rolling pin across the top of the tart pan to remove excess crust.
TIP #6: Place the tart pan on top of a piece of rubber shelf paper . It really helps keep the tart pan in place while you are working with it.
NOTE: You can prepare the tart pans ahead and put in the fridge until you are ready to fill them.
Lightly beat the eggs in a large bowl.
Here’s the secret to this tart: dark karo syrup instead of light and a good bit of dark rum.
Add the rest of the ingredients to the eggs and be sure to throughly combine all until the mixture is a rich brown color.
Then add the chopped pecans.
Fill the tart pans with the filling. If you are using several mini~tart pans, be sure to evenly divide the filling among them.
TIP # 7: Before filling the tarts, place the pan on a sheet pan covered in parchment paper. This makes it much easier to remove the tart pans from the oven. The parchment keeps the sheet pan clean in case any of the filling bubbles over.
What makes this tart so pretty is the garnish of whole pecans. For Grant’s 15~inch version, he has counted out precisely how many pecans are needed for each circle. I’m not that precise. Just start in the middle of the tart with your first circle and continue around the tart until you get to the outer edge. You will need to break off pieces of pecan to fit in the smaller areas.
Now you are ready to bake. When the tart is done, the filling should be fairly firm, but a little wobbly in the center. It will firm up as it cools. Carefully remove the outer ring of the tart pan.
TIP#8: A cake spatula makes it really easy to remove the bottom of the tart pan from the tart. Then you can slip the tart onto your serving dish.
TIP # 9: Tart pans can rust if any moisture is left on them after washing. Place them in a warm oven for a few minutes until all moisture has evaporated.
I like to add a dollop of whipped cream on my pecan pie. Vanilla ice cream is great, too; warm the pie in the oven or zap it in the microwave if you like. Pecan tart a la mode!
- TART CRUST:
- 2 cups flour, sifted
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ stick cold butter, cubed
- 4 ~ 6 tablespoons cold water
- Tart Filling:
- 4 large eggs, slightly beaten
- 1⅓ cups sugar
- 1⅓ cups dark karo syrup
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoons dark rum
- 1½ cups pecans chopped
- 1 ~ 2 cups whole pecans, for garnish
- FOR THE CRUST:
- Combine all the tart crust ingredients in the bowl of a food processor, adding water by the tablespoon as needed, until dough come together.
- Flatten the dough and roll out on a lightly floured counter to a 12~inch circle. Press the tart crust evenly into the bottom and sides of a 10~inch tart pan.
- Use a rolling pin across the top of the tart pan to remove excess dough.
- FOR THE FILLING:
- Place the tart pan on a half sheet pan covered with a piece of parchment paper.
- Combine all the filling ingredients in a large bowl and pour into the tart crust.
- Starting in the middle of the tart, lay out the pecans in circles, breaking off pieces as needed to cover filling to edges of the tart.
- Bake the tart for 45 ~ 50 minutes for a 10~inch tart; 25-30 minutes for a 4½~inch size.
- Allow to cool in tart pan until just warm.
- Remove from tart pan to a flat~bottom round platter or cake stand.
- Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
Now enjoy visiting today’s bloggers and please come back all week as each blogger’s recipe “goes live”. Have fun. I know that I will.
Holiday Recipe Blog Hop November 14 ~ 18