Thursday, May 5, 2011

Bourbon Pecan Tarts

The Kentucky Derby is Saturday!

If you're going to a party, or having one, these tarts would be a great finger food treat.  I like the tarts because the hostess doesn't have to worry about cutting and serving this and then have a sticky mess left over. These will be neat and easy to eat and serve.  The only problem might be that people could eat more of these because they just go down so easy! I'm not saying I can eat a lot of these... but I've seen "others" tuck into them with wild abandon!!!

I baked these a couple of days before the party and froze them.  That way when we're ready to take off, all I have to worry about is my dress and my hat being in order to celebrate the Derby in style.  Wait... Derby is about horses, not food and fashion, right???

Makes 48 1" tarts, or two small pies

1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup dark corn syrup (light would work too!)
3 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 to 2 cups pecan halves
2 tablespoons good-quality bourbon
Pre-made pie crust, or use my easy recipe

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, stir together the sugar and melted butter. If you use a glass measuring cup to melt your butter in the microwave, use the same cup to do measure the corn syrup.... it will fall right out without sticking.

Add the corn syrup, eggs, pecans, and bourbon, and stir until all ingredients are combined. Pour mixture into an unbaked tart shells, and place on a heavy-duty cookie sheet.
Use the pie crust to cut 2" rounds for your tart pans.  I got 36 small tarts and a long narrow tart pan out of the recipe above (and the pie crust recipe too).  Add 1-2 pecans to each tart, and carefully pour in the pie mix over the top of the nuts, leave about 1/4 inch from the top. 

Note:  IF you overflow the pan, or get filling on the pan plus the pie crust those little suckers will never, I repeat, never come out with mangling them!!! Well, you can get them out, but you need to take a sharp knife and loosen the hold while it's still warm!

Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the tarts are set. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. The pie should be set on the top, but may be a tiny bit jiggly.  It will continue to set up as it cools.  Don't over bake, If the filling is starting to pull from the edges, that pie is DONE!!! 

If you are using tart pans which are about an 1" deep, it takes about 30-35 minutes. 

Traditional deeper dish pies take about 60-70 minutes, but can be almost 2" deep, which is a whole lotta pie, I prefer the shallow tarts, it doesn't feel like an over the top dessert that way!
Other Ideas:
  • Use Walnuts instead of Pecans, my favorite.
  • Substitute other alcohol and nuts in place of the bourbon, Rum, Frangelico and Hazelnuts, Amaretto and sliced Almonds.
  • Just want a REGULAR Pecan Pie?  Replace the bourbon with 1 Tablespoon of good quality vanilla extract.
  • Add the thin layer of chocolate to the bottom of your crust before you fill with the pecan pie mixture, a yummy surprise and tastes great!

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