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Baked pecan tart held with white kitchen towels.

Pecan Pie Tart

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5 from 5 reviews

Rich, buttery and crunchy, this is a twist on the traditional pecan pie recipe and a delicious option for the holiday season when you want a more sophisticated dessert at Thanksgiving dinner or other special occasions. The gooey filling comes together in 10 minutes and has brown butter.

  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings



For the dough:

  • Ice Water
  • 1 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar

For the tart filling:

  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (35g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (150g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50g) light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1 and 1/4 cups pecan halves
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter


For the tart dough:

  1. Put ice 4 or 5 ice cubes in a measuring cup and fill with cold water to about a cup.
  2. In a food processor put flour and salt. Add cubed butter and pulse using on/off until the butter is the size of peas. Add half the amount of ice water and pulse a few times. 
  3. Add ¼ cup more ice water and pulse until it barely comes together. Check the dough. Even though it might look crumbly,  it should come together if you take some and squeeze it with your hand. If it doesn't come together, add a few more teaspoons of ice water.
  4. By hand, place the flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl. Add the cold butter and work with your hands or a pastry cutter until you have butter pieces the size of peas. Add the water and stir with a fork. It will be floury. It should come together if you take some and squeeze it with your hand. If it doesn't come together, add a few more teaspoons of ice water.
  5. Transfer the shaggy mass to a barely floured surface and gather it together into a ball. Don't overwork it, or the dough will be tough. Wrap it in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 3 days.
  6. Have ready a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom and a rolling pin. 
  7. When you're ready to use it, roll it on a lightly floured surface, starting from the middle and making sure the size is at least 1 inch larger than the pan you're using. Watch this video tutorial on how to roll pie crust if you need guidance.
  8. Carefully place the pie dough round in the ungreased pie pan. Let it fill the pan without stretching it. Trim edges, prick the surface and refrigerate for 1 hour or freeze for half an hour.
  9. Preheat oven to 350ºF /180ºC
  10. Place a large piece of aluminum foil covering the dough surface, add weight (pie weights, dried beans, rice or flour) and bake for 10 to 15 minutes. Lift the foil with the weight and continue baking for 10 more minutes or until it's dry and barely starting to color.
  11. Preheat oven to 375ºF / 190ºC.

For the filling:

  1. To make brown butter: put butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. 
  2. Let it melt and continue cooking it. It will make loud noises at first, like an angry cat, but suddenly it will stop. That's when it will brown very quickly, so watch it.
  3. When it's a deep amber color with a nutty aroma, remove it from heat and let the bubbles subside. The browned bit will go to the bottom. For more info, there is a whole post on how to make brown butter.
  4. Transfer it to a shallow bowl and let the butter cool down a little.
  5. Put eggs, flour, sugar, bourbon and vanilla in a medium bowl.
  6. Add the browned butter, leaving sediments behind in the saucepan. Do this a bit at a time, mixing constantly. 
  7. Place the toasted pecans on the bottom of the pre-baked pie shell.
  8. Carefully add the butter mixture. I like to put the liquid in a measuring cup, put the pie in the oven, and carefully add the liquid. That way, I can fill it to the top without moving it.
  9. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
  10. Cool on a wire rack.
  11. Remove from the pan and serve with whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream.
  12. Keep leftovers at room temperature for 2 days, covered. Then refrigerate covered in plastic wrap or in an airtight container to prevent dryness. 


  • Organization: read the recipe first and ensure you have ingredients at the correct temperature, equipment, and enough workspace. This will make the process so much easier.
  • Baking time: keep in mind that all ovens and pans are different, even if they look the same or very similar. The baking time in my recipes is as accurate as it can be, but it might take you more or less time. You can use a thermometer that is placed inside the oven (like the OXO oven thermometer) to check that your oven is at the right temperature. I recommend you keep track of how your oven works and what tiny details you might need to adjust. 
  • Pecans: they can be used lightly toasted or raw. Your choice.
  • Bourbon: I find that good bourbons (I use Jack Daniels, regular or honey) give a deeper, better flavor. But use any bourbon or whisky you like or have.
  • Pan: if you use a smaller pie pan, the tart will be taller, and more in tune with traditional Thanksgiving pies. Make sure the pan has high sides.
  • Baking: don't overbake the filling, and don't underbake it either. I know! It should still be slightly jiggly when you take it out, and the pecans are not burned. But make sure it's set enough; it will firm up as it cools.
  • Storing: I like it the day it's baked, but it stays at room temperature for a day or two.
  • Variation: walnuts can be used instead of pecans. And orange zest is a nice addition if you want a citrus tone.
  • Author: Paula Montenegro
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Pies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1/8
  • Calories: 719
  • Sugar: 19.6 g
  • Sodium: 323.5 mg
  • Fat: 51.9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 54.1 g
  • Protein: 8.7 g
  • Cholesterol: 168.9 mg