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20
March
2005

Pecan Pie for the Birthday Guy

A birthday wish for Andrew

For Andrew’s birthday a cake just wouldn’t do, and I knew the special occasion called for one of his favorites, Pecan Pie. I used an old-fashioned pecan pie filling with a tartlet shell to make individual sized treats for the birthday boy. We’re well past the age of adding a candle for every year, and the tart size was perfect to hold the one candle required for the birthday wish. The sweet, flaky tarts made a great breakfast (hey, it is his birthday!) and may come out again for a late night snack after the birthday celebration is over.

Happy Birthday Andrew!

Tart Dough
Adapted from a recipe by Executive Pastry Chef Jason Licker
Makes 6-8 4.5″ tartlets

Ingredients:
1 cup (80z.) unsalted butter
1 cup (80z.) confectioner’s sugar
1 1/2 (3 oz.) eggs
2 1/4 cup (18 oz.) all-purpose flour

Directions:
1. Cream butter and confectioner’s sugar until light and fluffy (3-4 minutes)
2. Add eggs and flour and mix until combined.
3. Shape dough into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour.
4. Preheat oven to 300°F
5. Roll out dough into 1/8 inch thickness on a lightly floured surface.
6. If using 4.5inch tart pans, cut out 6 inch circles in the dough.
7. Place the dough over the tart pan and gently press the dough against the sides. Trim excess dough off the top. As you finish each tart cup place it in the refigerator to stay firm while you finish the remainder.

Old-Fashioned Pecan Pie Filling
Bon Appétit, November 1997

Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup light corn syrup
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup chopped pecans

Directions:
1. Preheat the over to 350°F.
2. Whisk the first five ingredients in a medium bowl to blend.
3. Mix in 1 cup pecans.
4. Place the prepared tart shells (see Tart Dough recipe above) on a baking sheet. Pour the pecan mixture into each tart crust about 3/4 full. Do not overfill since the filling will expand while baking.
4. Sprinkle each tart with the remaining 1 cup pecans.
5. Bake until set, about 25 minutes.

Pecan tarts fresh from the oven

Now for the honest truth…

1) The tart dough was easy to make and tasted excellent, but may work better for a chocolate or fruit filling than for pecan. For a true pecan pie taste, a traditional pie crust is required (see the Epicurious recipe for their pie crust if interested).

Note: For fillings that don’t require baking, such as ganache and fruit, fill the tart shells with dough, make small slits in the bottom, and bake empty until light golden and the surface is dry to the touch. Pour the filling into the baked tart cups.

2) There were too many large pecan pieces in the tart. Next time I will reduce the amount of pecans used to about 1 1/2 cups, and try processing half of it for a finer texture.

3) Don’t overfill the tarts. I filled the cups to the brim (as shown in the picture below), and a few of the tarts spilled over during baking. It was easy to clean the baking sheet and salvage the tart, but it would have been nice to avoid the mess from the beginning.

Fill the tart shells just below the brim to avoid overflow during baking

4) If you don’t have tartlet pans, you can get a variety of sizes from the Broadway Restaurant Supply store in Union Square. 4.5 inch round tartlet pans with removable bottoms are $1.95 each.

Broadway Restaurant Supply, Inc.
21 E. 17th Street
New York, New York
(212) 807-8877
Hours: Monday – Saturday 8:00am to 5:30pm



10 COMMENTS SO FAR...

tanvi says on March 20th, 2005 at 12:27 pm:

ooh i love pecan pie! it is tied with key lime pie as my favorite. i might have to settle for drooling over the photos though, as working with corn syrup intimidates me for some reason!

keiko says on March 20th, 2005 at 4:34 pm:

Hi Kelli – I love your site, it’s really pretty… I think Andrew is a lucky guy ;) Happy birthday!

Debbie says on March 20th, 2005 at 9:51 pm:

I, too, think Andrew is a lucky guy, but then again, I’m biased! Happy Birthday, Andrew!

Kristin says on March 20th, 2005 at 11:28 pm:

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ANDREW!! Hope you enjoyed the pecan pie!

Andrew says on March 21st, 2005 at 10:00 am:

Thanks for the well wishes. The pecan pie was delicious!

Kelli says on March 21st, 2005 at 2:48 pm:

Hi Tanvi — I feel your pain with the corn syrup thing, but don’t let that stop you from making this recipe! It is so easy, all you do it stir it in. If you melt the butter in the same cup you use to measure the corn syrup, it will slide right out into the bowl.

Kelli says on March 21st, 2005 at 2:50 pm:

Thank you everyone! You should have seen the brownies Andrew made me for my birthday. y-u-m. Maybe he’ll post about that another time. Enjoy the mini pies!

alizinha says on March 21st, 2005 at 5:11 pm:

lucky guy to have such a wonderful birthday pie.

have you ever had chocolate pecan pie, though? made w/dark chocolate, the bitterness of the chocolate contrasts with the super-sweet pecan filling.

SOOO good.

Lovescool - For the Love of Dessert » Blog Archive » Pecan Pie for the Birthday Guy, Again says on March 23rd, 2008 at 12:06 pm:

[...] Andrew loves pecan pie, and I try to make it for him each year on his birthday. When I first started this blog in 2005, I wrote about a pecan pie that I made for his birthday that came out well, but wasn’t our favorite. I got the recipe from Bon Appétit, and it was a bit thin on the filling and did not have the rich pecan flavor I was looking for. Since then I have been searching for a better recipe, and this year I finally found one. It comes from a fellow blogger, Homesick Texan, that got the recipe from her Grandmother. [...]

kandy says on April 28th, 2010 at 10:43 am:

Been reading your excellent blog for quite a few weeks now, and i am enjoying many of your excellent topics.



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