Yield: 6, 4" tarts or 1, 9" tart with extra dough
Pastry flour 7 ¾ oz
Sugar 3/8 oz
Salt ¾ tsp
Butter, cut into 1/2" cubes 5 3/8 oz
Cold water or milk 2 ¼ oz
Eggs 3 ½ oz
Brown sugar 3 ½ oz
Light corn syrup 4 7/8 oz
Butter (melted) 1 oz
Vanilla extract 1 tsp
Salt ½ tsp
Pecans 4 3/8 oz
Process: Pie Dough
- Place the flour, sugar, salt and butter in an electrical mixing bowl with a paddle attachment. Mix on a low speed until the mixture resembles coarse sand.
- Slowly add the cold water or milk, while the dough is mixing on low, holding back a small amount of the liquid. (The amount of liquid needed can vary according to the moisture content of the flour, as well as the degree to which the fat is being cut into the flour. The more the fat is blended, the less liquid will be required.)
- Mix until the dough comes together, but still has some loosely crumbled parts. Add the reserved liquid, if needed, to bring the dough together.
- Wrap the dough in plastic, and let it rest for at least four hours in the refrigerator. (This relaxes the gluten in the dough. If you don't let the dough relax, it will be difficult to roll and it will shrink when baked.)
- Dust the work surface and the rolling pin with a small amount of flour. Roll out the dough into 12"x16" rectangle, and cut out 6, 6" circles. Alternately, for a 9" tart, take 11 ounces of dough and roll it into a circle with about an 11" diameter. The rolled dough height should be about 1/8 of an inch.
- Line 4" tart pans with the dough, ease the dough into the bottom edge of the pan, press the dough into the sides of the pan, and trim off the excess dough at the top. For a 9" tart, wrap the dough around the rolling pin, starting at one edge, place the edge of the dough slightly over one edge of the tart pan, and unroll the dough over the pan. Ease the dough into the bottom edge of the pan and trim off the excess dough at the top.
- Let the dough rest in the refrigerator while preparing the filling. (Again, to prevent dough shrinkage during baking.)
- Scale the eggs, lightly beat them, and let them sit until they warm to room temperature.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the brown sugar and corn syrup; add the melted butter, then the vanilla and salt.
- Slowly add the eggs (at room temperature) to sugar mixture until combined.
- Avoid incorporating air into the mixture.
- Heat the oven to 365°F.
- Arrange the pecans over the unbaked tart shells, and portion the filling over the nuts.
- Bake at 365°F for 6 minutes, and then at 300°F for 20-25 minutes or until the filling is set.
- Cool the tarts on a rack. Once the tarts are completely cooled, take them out of the molds.
- Store the tarts at room temperature, wrapped or in an air-tight container.
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