Bourbon Pecan Tart

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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 8

Gooey and sticky sweet, pecan pie is the quintessential Southern dessert. Here it is transformed into a buttery tart that requires less sugar than the original but preserves the crisp top layer of nuts. A shot of bourbon is added for good measure.


For the pastry:

  • 1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 oz./235 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 8 Tbs. (1 stick) (4 oz./125 g) chilled unsalted butter
  • 3 Tbs. ice water

For the filling:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g) sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup (7 1/2 oz./235 g) molasses
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 Tbs. good-quality bourbon
  • 1 1/2 cups (7 oz./220 g) pecan halves


To make the pastry, in a food processor, combine the flour and salt and pulse briefly to blend. Cut the butter into 8 pieces and distribute the pieces evenly over the flour. Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about 10 times. Sprinkle the ice water over the surface and pulse 7 more times. The dough will appear rather loose but should hold together when pressed between your fingers. Shape the dough into a disk 3/4 inch (2 cm) thick, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.

Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C).

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough into a round 12 inches (30 cm) in diameter and 1/8 inch (3 mm) thick. Roll the round loosely around the pin, then carefully unroll it over the top of a 9-inch (23-cm) tart pan with a removable bottom, allowing the excess to drape over the sides. Press the pastry gently into the bottom and sides of the pan, then roll the pin across the top of the pan, trimming off the excess dough.

To make the filling, in a bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat together the eggs, sugar, salt and cinnamon until smooth. Add the molasses, butter and bourbon and beat until thoroughly combined. Stir in the pecans. Pour the filling into the prepared tart shell.

Bake until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, let cool for 10 minutes then remove the pan sides and let cool completely. Carefully slide the tart pan bottom onto a serving plate, cut into slices and serve.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma New Orleans: Authentic Recipes Celebrating the Foods of the World (Weldon Owen, 2005)

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