For the Pastry:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small cubes
3-4 tablespoons ice water
For the Filling:
1 cup pecan halves
2 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
A pinch of salt
1. Prepare the Pastry:
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt.
Add the cold butter cubes and use a pastry cutter or your fingers to work the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Gradually add the ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and mix until the dough comes together. You may not need all of the water.
Form the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
2. Preheat the Oven:
Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
3. Prepare the Filling:
In a medium mixing bowl, beat the eggs.
Add the granulated sugar, corn syrup, melted butter, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt. Mix until well combined.
Stir in the pecan halves.
4. Roll Out the Pastry:
On a floured surface, roll out the pastry dough to about 1/8-inch thickness.
Using a round cutter or a glass, cut out circles of dough that will fit into your tart pans or muffin tins.
5. Fill the Tart Shells:
Gently press the pastry circles into greased tart pans or muffin tins.
Spoon the pecan filling into each tart shell, filling them about 2/3 full.
Place the tart pans on a baking sheet to catch any spills and bake in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes or until the filling is set and the pastry is golden brown.
7. Cool and Serve:
Allow the pecan tarts to cool in the pans for a few minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
8. Optional: Drizzle with chocolate or serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for extra decadence.
Enjoy your homemade pecan tarts! This recipe makes approximately 12 small tarts, depending on the size of your tart pans or muffin tins.