1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar)
1/4 tsp. salt
1 stick plus 1 tablespoon (9 tablespoons) very cold (or frozen) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
2 cups chopped toasted pecans
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 eggs, lightly beaten
Put the flour, confectioners’ sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse a couple of times to combine.
Scatter the pieces of butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is coarsely cut in–you should have some pieces the size of oatmeal flakes and some the size of peas.
Stir the yolk, just to break it up, and add it a little at a time, pulsing after each addition. When the egg is in, process in long pulses–about 10 seconds each–until the dough, whisk will look granular soon after the egg is added, forms clumps and curds.
Just before you reach this stage, the sound of the machine working the dough will change–heads up.
Turn the dough out onto a work surface and , very lightly and sparingly, knead the dough just to incorporate any dry ingredients that might have escaped mixing.
To press the dough into the pan: Butter a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Press the dough evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the pan, using all but one little piece of dough, which you should save in the refrigerator to patch any cracks after the crust is baked.
Don’t be too heavy-handed–press the crust in so that the edges of the pieces cling to one another, but not so hard that the crust loses its crumbly texture. Freeze the crust for at least 30 minutes, preferably longer, before baking.
To partially or fully bake the crust: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 190 degrees C.
Butter the shiny side of a piece of aluminum foil and fit the foil, buttered side down, tightly against the crust.
(Since you froze the crust, you can bake it without weights.) Put the tart pan on a baking sheet to bake the crust for 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil. If the crust has puffed, press it down gently with the back of a spoon. For a partially baked crust, patch the crust if necessary, then transfer the crust to a coking rack (keep it in is pan).
While the crust is baking make the filling: In medium saucepan, combine the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and stirring constantly, continue to boil for 1 minute.
Remove from the heat and stir in the nuts and the vanilla. Set the mixture aside to cool slightly, about 5 minutes. (If the crust has cooled, return it to the oven for 5 minutes to warm through.)
Whisk the beaten eggs into the filling until smooth. Put the pie shell on a sheet pan and pour the filling into the hot crust.
Reduce the oven Temperature to 175 degrees C.
Bake on the lower oven rack until the edges are set but the center is still slightly loose, about 40 to 45 minutes. (If the edges get very dark, cover them with aluminum foil half way during baking.) Cool on a rack. Serve slightly warm or room temperature.
The above recipe is adapted from the following two recipes:
Though I am not the most dedicated baker and I have probably made less than 10 pies in the past 4 years, I would still like to say that I have not been completely satisfied with the crusts of any of the pies that I made. Filling is just so much easier to make than the crust! Somehow, the crusts always ended up being either a little too dry or a little too hard. So, instead of making a pecan pie, I decided to make a pecan tart for our New Year’s house party.
Since the crust recipe did not call for kneading nor rolling, I really started to doubt the recipe when I was pressing the dough crumbs onto the pie pan (see the photo link above). Especially since I made the crust in winter so the butter stayed pretty cold, it was hard to stick the dough together. I added an extra york in but I think it is also OK to add a little bit of ice water to moisturise the dough. Just make sure it’s not too much water.
The tart had the exact same tart consistency as the strawberry tarts found at Japanese cake shops and cafes. I was pleased. It is going to become my go-to recipe for sweet pie crust. It is delicious!
Serve it with whip cream, but remember not to add too much sugar to the whip since the pie is rather sweet.