belated holiday gift

Not for me, but for you all. [that is if you like to cook sweets]

My recipe for Pecan Tassies [Tarts]

Backstory: While planning for xmas eve dinner I puzzled over what to serve for dessert. We were having a large crowd over, some who try to eat healthier and some who just like food to taste good. I was also trying to guess what people would be bringing. I guessed that people would bring cookies and sweets so I didn't want to overload on the dessert side. I was wrong by the way, people brought savories this year. It all worked out though, I had made tassies. These with cookies struck the dessert balance well I think.

Of course I did not create this recipe from scratch, the earliest one I know of is from Better Homes & Gardens magazine, some time in the '50s and they may be older, perhaps as old as pecan pie?

So then what makes mine different? The usual. Alternate flours, other sweeteners, and an overall sweetness level suited to those who can no longer handle hostess products and a 'more the merrier' attitude to fats and richness as opposed to sweetness. I also changed the proportions quite a bit in my version.

I have given two variations below and if you like playing with recipes these should spark about a million more possible variations. Instead of whole wheat flour or teff or spelt you could experiment with your own favorite flour. You could flavor it with bourbon. You could use walnuts instead of pecans. You could also make a one large tart in a pie pan. I remember doing that years ago. Or perhaps you do not have a standard size muffin pan, the recipe may then make more or less tarts for you. It's quite time consuming [especially if you only have one 12 muffin pan like yours truly] but it's not a hard recipe.

If you have some filling left over put it in an ramkin and bake it as an individual pecan pudding.

All your ingredients should be room temperature. Preheat your oven to 325. This makes 24 tassies using a common muffin tin.

Variation #1, a traditional version. [Variation #2, rustic version]

Mix together
-1/2 cup of softened butter
-3 ounces of cream cheese
-1 cup whole wheat pastry flour [or 1/2 cup each, teff flour and ww pastry flour]

Chill for at least an hour so that you can handle the dough.

For the filling mix together thoroughly [I used my mixer]
-2 eggs
-1 T softened butter
-3/4 cup agave nectar
-1/2 cup dark maple syrup [or 1-2T molasses]
-1 t vanilla extract
-pinch of sea salt

Then add 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans and stir. You should also have a small bowl of pecan pieces handy for topping.

Divide your chilled dough into the number of tassies you will be making. Press the dough into the muffin cup making a little tart shell fill with the filling and top with more pecans.

Bake for 25 minutes, turn pan once, until filling is set and tarts are a lovely brown.

Cool in pan before removing carefully to rack. Kept in a tin and cool [and hidden] they will last over a week]



Jenn Sullivan said...

Do you ever try your recipes with gluten free flours? When I was reading your post you mentioned alternative flours and I was interested to find out if you ever used rice flour or potato flour? If you ever do I would love to know! I don't know that they would work out the same though....

engagedbliss said...

I don't have a problem with gluten myself so I only branch out to gluten free flours when I am cooking for a friend who can't tolerate it, so my experience is limited. The most experimenting I have done with this is spelt and teff.

But this is be an excellent recipe to experiment with alternate flours like nut, potato or rice because you are merely using it for a crust you are not really baking a structure with it, if that makes sense. I would love to hear about your results if you try it. Good luck, EB

engagedbliss said...

oops, I meant the most experimenting I have done with this **recipe** is teff and spelt...

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