For the first few weeks after the holidays I avoided sugar, a rarity indeed for me. It’s no secret that I have a sweet tooth and seldom is it satiated, however this month I found myself saying more than once:
“I don’t feel like anything sweet”
followed promptly by:
“It’s OK, sit down. No, I am not ill, I feel just fine”
as Danny would inevitably leap up, concerned that I must be very sick indeed!
But that didn’t last for long, and soon I was back battling my usual sugar cravings and whipped up this sugary treat. Not just one, but three different sweeteners - sugar, corn syrup and molasses - make this decadent tart a plunge back into the wonderful world of desserts!
A touch of rum adds an extra punch of flavor to this ever-popular classic. The recipe is adapted from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook.
Pate Brisée or pie pastry for one pie shell
5 large eggs
1 ¼ cups packed light-brown sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1/3 cup molasses
1 tablespoon bourbon or dark rum
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
1 2/3 cups pecans, coarsely chopped, plus 1/3 cup whole pecan halves
Set a 9-inch cake ring on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper; set aside. If you don’t have a cake ring, you can use a 9-inch springform pan.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out pie dough into a 13 inch round. Fit dough into cake ring or springform pan, gently pressing into the edges and up 1 ½ inches of the sides. Freeze until firm, then trim dough flush with the top edge of ring. Chill until firm.
Preheat oven to 375F.
Line chilled pie shell with parchment paper, leaving a 1-inch overhang. Fill with pie weights (I use dried beans). Bake until the edges begin to turn golden, about 15 minutes. Remove parchment and beans and leave to cool.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, butter, corn syrup, molasses, rum, vanilla and salt. Stir in the chopped pecans. Pour filling into the cooled pie shell and arrange pecan halves on the top.
Reduce oven to 350F. Bake until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean, about 40-45 minutes. Cool on wire rack.
Tart can be kept at room temperature, loosely covered with foil, for up to four days.