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.