MNN Galleries

5 mouthwatering pies anyone can bake

By: Rodale News on Dec. 12, 2011, 4:24 p.m.
Spirited pecan pie

Photo: msheldrake/Shutterstock

3 of 7

Spirited Pecan Tart

A pretty and equally tasty alternative to the typical pecan pie, this tart has a flaky crust that supports a rich filling and loads of pecans. Almost 90 percent of the fat in pecans is unsaturated, so these nuts are a good choice for helping to reduce your levels of bad (LDL) cholesterol and raising your good (HDL) cholesterol levels. Increase the odds that your family's chocolate lovers will reach for a slice by baking up this chocolate version.


  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 2 tablespoons ice water
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon rum or bourbon
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
Time Estimates

Prep time: 20 min

Cook time: 45 min

Total time: 3 hours, 5 min


  1. Basic Tart Crust: To make an 11" basic tart crust, in a large bowl, combine the flour, 2 tablespoons sugar and salt. Cut in the butter and shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle 2 to 4 tablespoons ice water over the crumbs and toss with a fork until the dough holds together. Gather the mixture into a ball and press into a thick disk. Cover and refrigerate for 15 to 30 minutes before rolling out.
  2. Pie: Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  3. Roll the dough out to a 12" circle. Place the dough in an 11" tart pan. Firmly press the dough against the bottom and sides of the pan. Trim the edges.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, corn syrup, rum or bourbon, butter, flour, and vanilla extract. Place into the prepared crust. Arrange the pecan halves over the filling in 2 rows around the outside edge of the tart. Place the chopped pecans in the middle of the tart, sprinkling them to meet the edge of the pecan halves.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes, or until browned and the center is set. Cool on a rack for at least 2 hours.