Mini Pecan Pie Tarts with Homemade Crust

I’ve never been a fan of pecan pie. I didn’t like nuts growing up. Love them now. Didn’t care for pie any pie at all because I only cared about cake or brownies. I can now appreciate pie because I think my cake quota has been filled. Onto the next one.

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I ate pecan pie at Thanksgiving with my boyfriend and it was so good and so rich and so sweet — and then I actually did pass out on the sofa. We’re not sure how long I was out, but he did put up an entire Christmas tree and decorate his living room.

When I came to, he told me that the pie was basically just made of corn syrup and sugar. Great! So, I thought “Ok, pecan pie is good, but maybe a smaller portion would be better.”

So I thought, “Duh, I’ll make tarts.” That way, you get a small, but full, rich satisfying dessert that doesn’t put you into a sugar coma. Perfect.

Mini Pecan Pie Tarts with Homemade Crust // RECIPE & INSTRUCTIONS

The original recipe link above above makes 12 cupcake-sized pies, but I made mine smaller because I plan to distribute these as part of a Christmas cookie dessert buffet bag of sorts that will include tons of cookies. I had a lot of extra filling because I had smaller cups, so I froze the rest and will use it for the next batch. You could halve the filling and probably come out ok.

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Ingredients

For the dough:

  • 6 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

For the filling:

  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 3/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 tbsp butter, melter
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. At medium speed, beat together softened cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl. Gradually add flour and salt mixture until well combined.
  2. Divide the dough in half. Flatten each half into an inch-thick circle, wrap in plastic wrap and let it chill out for at least an hour. Ina Garten lets her pie crust chill overnight. Just sayin’.
  3. Make 24 (or 12) evenly sized dough balls and press into your muffin or mini-muffin cups.

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    You could use a fork to press a uniform pattern into each dough rim.

  4. Add chopped pecans to each dough crater.
  5. Whisk together your beaten eggs, brown sugar, corn syrup, butter and vanilla until well combined.
  6. Use a small spoon (I used a measuring spoon with a flat edge) to pour the mixture into each pecan dough crater until full.
  7. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes.

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It goes without saying that these were delicious. The serving size was just right. I did not have a sugar coma. I served mine slightly warmed up with a scoop of double vanilla ice cream over top. I’d planned to make these cupcake-sized to keep in my freezer for dessert after dinner, but I think this size was adequate.

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I may go eat one now. Thanks.

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