Monday, April 11, 2011

Modern Baker Challenge: Bourbon-scented pecan-walnut tart

Danger! Danger! We are entering the next chapter in the Modern Baker Challenge: sweet tarts and pies. I have already made three recipes from this section, all of which were amazingly good: chocolate orange hazelnut tart, Parisian fruit tart, and Maida's Big Apple Pie.

Knowing this will be a dangerous section for us, I am following Kayte's lead; she recently purchased a 6" tart pan and has been baking mini tarts, which has allowed her to make many more recipes. For my birthday, I received a set of 4" mini tart pans, so I'm planning to make two mini tarts for each recipe, hoping that this will allow us to sample more recipes without gaining 5,000,000 pounds. =)

Yesterday afternoon, I whipped up a batch of the sweet tart dough: flour, sugar, baking powder, unsalted butter, eggs, and salt. It came together perfectly, and I set it to rest in the fridge. I figured that one recipe of tart dough (409 g) would break down into 6 mini tarts (136 g for each recipe; 68 g for each mini tart).

Last night, I was all ready to make us tarts for dessert, but hubby and I simply could not agree which one we should start with. And then it got too late, and we had to settle for ice cream. I did use the rest of my evening wisely, though, and divided all of the filling recipes into thirds so that I could make two mini-tarts of any of them at a moment's notice.

Tonight, I made two: bourbon-scented pecan and bittersweet chocolate, the first for tonight and the second for tomorrow. Failing to make a mis en place (as usual), I didn't realize that I was short pecans until I was measuring them to stir them into the syrup, so I added walnut pieces, too. This tart started with a syrup of dark corn syrup, sugar, and unsalted butter, which was whipped into a mix of egg, salt, and bourbon. The nuts are mixed in, the mixture is poured into the crusts, and then they are set to bake; my minis took about 22 minutes, until the tops were puffed, set, and had popped bubbles on the top.

Unsurprisingly, this tart was amazing. Even hubby, who claims to not like nuts in desserts, couldn't stop raving. Of course these are going on the make-again list.


  1. Looks great! I made this recipe this weekend, and there are two tiny pieces left (breakfast, anyone?).

  2. Thank you for doing the math for me!! Brilliant idea! I just received the 4'' tart pans too and was thinking along the same lines! This tart looks fantastic and is absolutely on my list of to dos. One questions- how much filling do you make? 1/4?

  3. Hi Renee! I made 1/3 recipe of the filling...had a little leftover...might make 1/4 next time.

    Phyl, great breakfast idea! =)

  4. I'm not a big nut person, but with the rave reviews on this one, I may have to try it. I need to make tarts more often; hopefully I will with my new smaller pan.

  5. Thanks Abby! Can't wait to try it! I adore pecan pie and already know this will be a favorite at my house!

  6. From the rave reviews from you and Phyl sounds like I should get to this one sooner rather than later. I need to score one of those tiny little airplane bottles of bourbon as that's not something I keep on hand. Maybe today I will go in search of liquor. lol Your little tarts look so good...and that whipped cream just makes them look even more delicious. have 5 done already!!!

  7. Very clever idea to downsize the recipes and use mini tart pans! I'm a bit hesitant about this tart because I don't like to add alcohol to cakes and tarts and such. We'll see...