Friday, April 16, 2010

It Must Be Spring and Pecan Tart Still Sounds Fine

It must be spring...everyone around here is talking about the weather. The other seasons have plenty of fluctuations in temperature and storms, but somehow spring is the most erratic. I'm mentally all set to switch to short sleeves and sweaters but next week looks like it will be back to rain gear and fleece.

My seedlings are big enough to go outside, too, but it may be May 15 before things warm up enough to plant them in the ground. The chill and rain doesn't seem to bother the apple blossoms. It was warm enough yesterday to open the car windows and take in the elusive and sweet fragrance that has such a short season.

After a crazy busy work day it's pretty nice to find a baking recipe that is also short and sweet. I'll be bringing this to a dinner party tonight, so I took a little extra time and arranged the nuts so they would look nice...all facing up. Given a choice of gingerbread, or maple and nuts, Sweetie chose the later. I'm glad he did!

A quick and easy tart with the delectable flavors of maple and pecans. No need for a mixer here…just use a whisk or fork to make the filling. I mixed the crumb mixture with a silicon spatula right in the pot I melted the butter in. Although this tart is fine just as it is, you can guild the lily with a drift of softly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream spooned next to each slice as you serve.

Maple –Pecan Tart with Graham-Gingersnap Crust
based on recipe in Instant Gratification by Lauren Chattman

½ cup (1 stick) butter, divided
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
½ cup gingersnap crumbs (about 8 cookies)
¼ cup dark corn syrup
2 large eggs
¼ cup pure maple syrup
1 ½ cups pecan halves

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Melt 5 tablespoons of the butter in a saucepan. Once butter has cooled a little bit (2-3 minutes), stir in the 2 tablespoons of sugar, the graham cracker crumbs and the gingersnap crumbs. Stir well to combine. The mixture will look like damp sand. Press the mixture evenly across the bottom and all the way up the sides of a 9 inch tart pan with removable bottom. Pack the mixture tightly with your fingertips so it is even and compacted.
(Reminds me of making sand cakes in the sandbox and sand castles at the beach.) Place the pan in the freezer until ready to use. (You may want to put a tray under the tart so that the removable bottom doesn’t move and disturb the nice crust you’ve made.)

Melt the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter. In a medium bowl whisk together the melted butter, the remaining 1/3 cup sugar, the dark corn syrup, eggs, and maple syrup.

Remove tart pan from freezer. Scatter the pecans evenly across the bottom of the tart shell. (I like to turn them all so the top of the nut half faces up…look prettier to me…although it is more work and takes time.)Slowly pour the filling over the nuts.

Bake in the preheated oven until the filling is just set, 15 to 20 minutes. (I placed my tart pan on a Silpat lined baking sheet in case any gooey filling overflowed the tart pan.) Let cool completely on a cake rack before removing the sides of the pan and serving.

Serves 6-8


  1. Pecan pie is very dangerous for me. I love it waaaay too much! This version has my other addiction, maple syrup! I won't be making this pie, but it sure looks wonderful!!

  2. Maple and pecan sounds good to me.

  3. I love a good pecan tart/pie and this looks good. Never tried one myself coz pecans are so expensive over here..not to mention how expensive maple syrup is too!!

  4. Oh my gosh! This looks delicious and I must try it. Love those pecans!

  5. It's winter in full swing here in Cape Town, this tart would be a very good ending to simple soup supper!

  6. Elle, I didn't know where to leave a comment because I'm in love with both this pecan tart and the bread below. Well..will just have to bookmark both..they both look spectacular!!

    BTW, when I make pecan pie..I eat out of the pan with a spoon, seriously.

  7. Anonymous9:14 PM

    OH, no! This looks tooo easy to make! You KNOW how much I love pecan pie!

    love, Natasha

  8. It may be Spring but this says Fall...and I love me some Fall. Yum!

  9. Mmmm...
    Pecan Tarts/Pies, etc are good anytime of year in my book ;O)
    I love the sounds of the crust on this! Yum!