This is an easy recipe for mini pecan pies or pecan tartlets. The mini pie crust and filling can be made days in advance and assembled at the last minute. Or, you can fully prepare the mini pies, freeze them and then reheat them as needed. Whatever you decide, you’ll enjoy all the goodness of a traditional pecan pie in a mini form, complete with crunchy pecans and a buttery crust.
Baking purists will note that there is a technical difference between tarts and pies; I acknowledge that. But they are close enough cousins (dough formed in a shallow baking dish and filled with either a sweet or savory filling) that I am using the term interchangeably. And I know that no one from my family, when served one of my delicious mini pecan pies, will decline because I should’ve called them pecan tartlets!
OK, we need to get a couple of other things out of the way before going any further. Do you say Pee-Can or Puh-Cahn? It is an annual argument in our home; I am in the Puh-Cahn camp while my kids swear it is Pee-Can. It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving or Christmas without that running argument going on in the background. But whether you say Puh-Cahn or Pee-Can, if you are a pecan pie lover, you will enjoy these little bites of pecan-deliciousness.
I’m firmly in the “no thank-you” tent, but mom is in the ‘absolutely’ camp and can swear that it works perfectly well on the mini version of the pecan pie as well!
At the end of the day, I am a traditionalist in most things. As it relates to pies, I do love a traditional 9″ round pie. But there are times when it’s OK to think outside of the
pie box. And I am all about a mini dessert; in my perfect world, all desserts would be bite-sized so that I could have a little taste of everything!
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You heard me right…keep that corn syrup in the pantry and bring out the more flavorful Maple Syrup for just a little twist on the classic pecan pie recipe. But, do yourself a favor and get the REAL maple syrup, none of that fake maple pancake topping stuff. The flavor of the REAL is just so divine in these mini pecan pies.
I use a Williams-Sonoma Tartlet pan that I love but is not sold anymore! 🤷🏼♀️ Go Figure!
If I didn’t have that pan, I think I’d give these silicone mini tart molds a try. Not only are they reasonably priced, but they have excellent reviews in terms of the tartlets releasing easily. Turn them out 3-4 minutes after you remove them from the oven.
You could also use a cupcake pan, but I think it’s harder to get a nice edge and to get them to release easily. Use a good release spray. I swear by Bak-Klene.
For the cupcake pan or the mini tart molds, use a round cookie cutter, upside-down cup, or something similar to cut the dough and then form it into the mold.
I opted for a pecan shortbread crust for these tartlets instead of the flaky crust associated with traditional pies to switch things up. As such, it’s a little thicker, a little heartier than your traditional pie crust.
You can freeze the baked tart shells and defrost them before filling them.
You could also bake the filled mini pies/tarts in advance and freeze them. Bring them back to room temperature and then bake the mini pies for 4-5 minutes at 350° to reheat and refresh.
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