Before the Harry Potter police descend on Gourmandistan like a pack of Dementors at a Quidditch match, let it be said that Gourmandistan understands Patronus charms are not usually uttered by pecans. But we do feel pecans need some protection. Too often well-meaning kitchen wizards whip up pecan pies, imprisoning the nuts in sickly sweet sugar goo that sucks the soul from the nut. Especially if we’re shelling them ourselves, we Gourmandistanis want our pecans to be the star when we use them. So on their behalf, we conjure up a dark tart.
The secret to this flavorful, magical dessert is darkness, mixed with thinness. Dark brown sugar and dark corn syrup have more depth and less sweet than their light counterparts. Tarts are also thinner than pies, so there is less sugary filling and more pecan flavor. Perhaps no pecan will ever say “Expecto Patronum,” but Gourmandistan would like to think the little kernels appreciate our efforts.
- 1 recipe pâte brisée
- Heaping cup of pecan halves
- 2 eggs
- 1 c. dark brown corn syrup
- 3/4 c. dark brown sugar
- 1 TB bourbon whiskey
- Generous pinch salt
Roll out pastry and place in a 10″ tart pan. Prick bottom and sides with a fork and place in freezer for at least 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375° F. Line crust with foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Pre-bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and weights and bake for 10 minutes more uncovered. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack.
Beat eggs, syrup, sugar, bourbon and salt together in a bowl.
Place pecan halves, ridged side up, on top of crust in concentric circles. Pour filling mixture over. Fill in with additional pecans if needed.
Bake for about 25 minutes, until filling is almost firm in the center. Cool on a wire rack.
You are right and the damn things don’t grow in this country 😦
It is funny what a small area of the world they are found in, isn’t it? Wikipedia says they grow in various places other than the U.S. South including “Australia, Brazil, China, Israel, Mexico, Peru and South Africa.” Who knew? Surely I didn’t.
Oh my- I must be heading to Gourmandistan soon.
What’s stopping you? 😉
I love this. Your dark tart, and the clever description that goes along with it! I’m not sure I knew that dark brown sugar and dark corn syrup were less sweet… but most pecan pies are a little too sweet for me (even though I still love them…), so your adjustments sound perfect. And the tart sounds utterly magical. 🙂
Thanks, Allison! You’re right: of course, it’s all sweet. But I think the extra molasses in dark brown sugar and syrup adds a slightly bitter note that tones down the cloying nature.
This looks decadent and delicious! I can’t wait to try it! 🙂
a dark pecan tart? perfection. and love the harry potter references. you’ve reminded me of a long-ago obsession 🙂
I shouldn’t admit it, but I had no idea what Steve was talking about (other than that it had to do with Harry Potter, which he loved)!
I’m with you, let those delicious pecans shine, don’t drown then in teeth jarring sweetness. We have wonderful pecans in Australia, this is the perfect way to show them off. Did you know that the pecan is the most digestible of all nuts?
I didn’t know that, but I do love them.
When I first read “The school of dark tarts” I totally giggled. Then I got to the picture and just started to drool. Pecan pie is usually too sweet for me, it makes my teeth hurt just thinking about it. That tart, on the other hand, just looks perfect! Yum!
I know. There are some really, really awful ones. Cloying, weeping yuck covered with stale nuts. Decades ago, my mother and I set out to make the best one and we tried tons of recipes. That was when I decided that dark is the way to go.
Hilarious as always. …and as always, I want a slice (or three)!
Aw, thanks. Steve gets all the credit for that. He made me listen to the first Harry Potter book on audio on a long road trip. Too much Quidditch for me and I never went further. But he loved all those books.
Wonderful recipe – I really like that you rely on your pecans instead of pairing them with a overload with other ingredients!
Thanks, Sabine! I generally do like the ratio of filling to crust much better in a tart than in a pie. Especially when the filling is ultra sweet.
It’s been years since I last ate a pecan tart. Yours looks PERFECT and the fact that you’ve used Harry Potter references? Even better!!! Can I please attend the school of dark tarts? Preferably the pecan one…
Thanks, Laura! Steve gets all the credit for the writing. I’m mostly a non-fiction reader and just never got into the H.P. thing. But Steve liked them enough for both of us!
Beautiful! Pecan pie is one of my favorites. It’s one of my three staples for Thanksgiving–pecan, pumpkin, and apple ginger.
I’m coming to your house for Thanksgiving. 🙂
The bourbon doesn’t hurt either! 🙂
God knows, better than drinking it. Yuck. 😉
Best headline I’ve read today. The tart looks fabulous, good enough for the end-of-term feast at Hogwarts.
I saw fresh pecans in the grocers! And as a closet Harry Potter fan, you had me at Patronus…
I loved learning that they’re grown in Australia. I always thought of them as such a Southern U.S. thing, especially since nobody in Europe seems to have them. (And we’ll have to thank Steve for the H.P. references.)
I might put bourbon in the whipped cream too.
That looks devilish – perfect with a cup of strong, black filter coffee.
Oh, I love that Frugal … that you’re not like the French who would make you wait until after for the coffee!
Pecans are near and dear to our hearts, with G being from Georgia. This is what I would call a perfect pecan pie. Way to protect and nourish the sacred fruit. 🙂 Very nice use of the darker, molasses-rich sugars and a great Kentucky touch with the bourbon! I agree with a previous commenter… a touch of bourbon in the whipped cream, as well, would be complete decadence. Speaking of decadence, I would be quite tempted to scatter some dark chocolate on top of the pâte brisée before the gorgeous filling is poured on…
But, Shanna, then we’d be in the territory of that Pie Whose Name You Can Neither Speak Nor Write. 🙂
Beautiful. I’ve never made it with the dark sugar and dark corn syrup. I must. I like that you’ve delved into the dark arts for this one. Beautiful photos too.
Thanks, Amanda! I like the slightly bitter note that the extra molasses gives and often use dark brown sugar if the color isn’t going to be a problem.
Oh and I love the addition of alcohol. Perfect with that black coffee.
And thank goodness here in the old US of A we can have our coffee with our tart just as Ogden Nash would request. 🙂
Looks like dark perfection! Mmmmm, pecans.
Thanks, Jama! I’d send some your way, but I think I made this back in February. Ain’t blogging grand?
You nailed it. Pecan pie is – in my northerner experience – such an achingly sweet dessert that unless I have a gallon of espresso to wash it down I avoid it. This looks great and the first photo says it all – I took one look and said, “That is THIN – great, not so much gunk.” Okay, I’ve pinned it – my next indulgence. Ken
To paraphrase myself from a comment above: Yes, all too often pecan pies are cloying, weeping yuck covered with stale nuts in a bought crust.
Love the title! Your photos and desert are lovely as well…
Thanks, Anna! I see we’ve got another Harry Potter fan…
This tart is perfection 🙂
All my favorite ingredients in one place!
lol, I think I went to the school of dark tarts.
Ha! What a great comment.
It wasn’t until recently that I finally found a place that sells pecan nuts here in Barcelona! Yeah, something so easy anywhere else and I used to have to get it whenever I went to France! This was (again) already pinned to my Pinterest.. I may have to make a board called Gourmandistan 😉 This also looks wonderful and I want to make it. D you think I could replace the corn syrup with a bit of honey or something? As I have no idea where I can get that here either!
Now I feel like having a slice with my morning coffee
I love the clever play on your choice of wording here and most certainly I can see little witches & wizards, magicking up this tart, in a flash. We could all be enticed to the school of dark tarts, with this recipe. 😉
That looks amazing!