Bourbon-Scented Pecan Tart

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Preparation info

  • Makes one 11 inch 28 cm ) tart, about


    • Difficulty


Appears in

The Modern Baker

The Modern Baker

By Nick Malgieri

Published 2008

  • About

I much prefer using this buttery and very sweet pecan filling in a tart rather than a pie, and I find the thinner layer of filling is less rich and yet perfectly satisfying. A Southerner would be horrified, but I like this just as much when it’s made with walnuts.


  • cups dark corn syrup
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
  • 3 large eggs
  • Pinch of salt
  • tablespoons best-quality bourbon
  • cups (about 9 ounces/250 grams) pecan pieces
  • One 11-inch (28-cm) tart crust, unbaked, made from Sweet Tart Dough


  1. Set a rack in the lowest level of the oven and preheat to 350°F (180°C).
  2. Stir the corn syrup and sugar together in a medium saucepan and place over low heat. Allow the syrup to come to a full boil without stirring, which could cause the mixture to crystallize and harden. When the syrup boils, remove it from the heat and add the butter without stirring it in, just allow it to melt.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs with the salt and bourbon, just until they are blended.
  4. Use a rubber spatula to stir the melted butter into the syrup. Whisking constantly but slowly, pour the syrup into the egg mixture in a slow, steady stream. Don’t overmix or the filling will be cloudy instead of clear.
  5. Let the bowl of filling rest for a few minutes, then use a large metal spoon to skim off the foam from the surface. Stir in the pecans, then pour the filling into the prepared crust. Use a fork to distribute the pecans evenly in the crust.
  6. Bake the tart until the crust is baked through, the filling is set and slightly puffed, and tiny bubbles are breaking on the surface (the infallible sign of doneness), 35 to 40 minutes. Cool the pie on a rack and serve at room temperature.


Serve the pie with some slightly sweetened whipped cream.


Keep the pie at room temperature on the day it is baked. Cover and refrigerate leftovers and bring back to room temperature before serving again. Pecan tart freezes very well: Double-wrap it in plastic and freeze for up to a month. Unwrap, defrost, and reheat at 350°F (180°C) for about 10 minutes, and cool before serving.


Walnut Tart: Omit the bourbon and instead add 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract and ¼ teaspoon of ground cinnamon to the eggs. Substitute walnut pieces for the pecans.