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  • Mary Kay

Bourbon Pecan Pie Tarts for National Pecan Day, April 14!


What better way to celebrate National Pecan Day, April 14, than to make cute little Pecan Pie Tarts? I bought some tart pans with removeable bottoms a few months ago and have been wanting an excuse to use them. This is the perfect recipe! And, I was surprised at how easy these tart pans are to use!

 

It’s especially fun to celebrate and share a Pecan Pie Tart at dinner with your bestie on National Pecan Day. You don’t want to celebrate National Pecan Day with one of those tiny-mini-itsy-bitsy little pecan pie tartlet cookies that are all doughy with just a tiny dry hint of pecan pie filling. You need this full-fledged pie tart with a crisp and flaky crust brimming with pecan pie filling, topped with whipped cream. Mmm…mmm…mmm!

 

With this particular recipe I use my Gram’s Pecan Pie filling recipe, and store-bought crusts that are ready to bake. Plus, I add a little bourbon to spike it up a little. (Gram would never have done that!) Top it with some whipped cream and you have the most delicious mini dessert around! 


The pecan pie filling is just like the real thing, just like Gram used to make. The abundance of pecans satisfies any nutty craving. I also love the fact that this recipe just uses white and brown sugar – no need for any corn syrup. That’s why it tastes just like Gram’s Pecan Pie.

 

This recipe fills 5-6 individual 4” pie tart pans – the ones with the removeable bottoms. No top crusts are needed for these tarts.

 

Preheat your oven to 325F degrees.

 

Gather up your Ingredients:

2 -3 Pie crusts (homemade or store-bought)

½ C Sugar

1 C Brown Sugar

2 Eggs

½ C Butter, melted

2 T C Milk or heavy cream

2 T Flour

4 T Bourbon, smooth

1 T Vanilla extract

1 ½ C Pecans, rough chopped or halves

1/2 C Chocolate chips, mini (optional)

Whipped cream for garnish

½ C Pecans, rough chopped for garnish

1 C Chocolate chips, mini semi-sweet (optional garnish) 


First, set up the crust:

-I’ve shortened up the time for making the crust by using two refrigerated store-bought pie crusts. When I have more time, I like to make a homemade crust from scratch according to my Grandmother’s recipe.

-Take the time to bring the store-bought crusts close to room temperature.

-Fit them together, trimming and patching the pieces together so the crust fits the pan. Overlap the seams a little and press all the seams together. Use a rolling pin to even all the seams and patches. 

-Place one tart pan over the crust, cutting the crust round and large enough to lay across the inside of the tart pan, a couple inches larger than the tart pan is. Make sure there’s enough crust to reach up the tart pan sides. After trimming the crusts, you might need to use the excess to fit together to make the last crust.

-Fit the crusts into the tart pans pressing each crust to fit to the edges, without stretching the crust. Slice off any excess crust.

-Place the tart pans into the refrigerator and chill while making the filling.

 


Mix up the delicious pecan filling:

-Melt the butter and cool a little. You don’t want it so hot that it cooks the eggs.

-Whisk together the sugars and eggs. Set aside.

-Whisk together the cooled melted butter, milk or heavy cream, flour, bourbon, vanilla extract and rough chopped pecans. Some people enjoy halved pecans so that's just fine, if you'd rather have the larger pieces.

-Stir in the sugars and eggs mixture.

-As an option, add some mini chocolate chips in the mix if you like...about 1/2 cup, distributing them evenly.

-Pour the mixture into the chilled pie tarts.

-Bake at 325F degrees for 25-30 minutes. I check the pecan pie bars at the 20-minute mark, then 25 minutes, and 30 minutes. When the crusts are lightly browned and the center is just a little jiggly, the pies are done. The filling will continue to set as the tarts cool.

-Make sure the tarts are completely cooled before removing them from the pans. They are easily removed by placing the entire tart pan on top of a tumbler that’s a little narrower than the tart pan is wide. Push down on the rim of the tart pan and it will slip down, leaving the entire tart and removeable bottom of the tart pan on top of the glass. Take it off the tumbler and slide a thin metal pie spatula or offset metal spatula under the crust but above the removeable bottom of the tart pan. Voila! They separate and you can set the entire pecan pie tart onto a plate.

-Place each one on an individual plate, garnish with whipped cream and some chopped nuts on top.


Option: If you like semi-sweet chocolate on top of your pecan pie, spread some mini chocolate chips on top of the tarts as soon as they come out of the oven. Let the chips soften before spreading them around for a nice solid topping. Or, don't spread them and let people see the individual chips. Either way it’s delicious!

 

Serve it up as a delicious after dinner dessert or as an afternoon break treat with coffee:

-Serve the pecan pie tarts warm or at room temperature with whipped cream on top.

-Turn it into a turtle sundae by serving it with a scoop of ice cream, whipped cream and a cherry on top.

-Serve it cold with a hot cup of coffee for a quick afternoon treat.


No matter how you serve these Bourbon Pecan Pie Tarts, you’ll enjoy them with your besties. Just be sure to “Bake your own Memories!”

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