What makes this recipe unique is not just the whiskey in the filling but the addition of whiskey soaked dried fruit. You only need a sliver of this rich dessert, so we make it in a tart pan instead of a pie pan.
Once you get this down, it will be a permanent part of your holiday dessert repertoire. The tart shells can be rolled, formed and frozen, the pecans toasted, the dried fruit left soaking, and the filling can be made 3-4 days ahead of time and kept refrigerated until ready to use.
2 ½ cups King Arthur white flour (red bag) or Guisto’s Baker’s Choice organic all-purpose flour
16 tablespoons (or 8 oz) unsalted European style butter such as Kerry gold or Plugra cut into small ½ dice, cold but not frozen
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
4 tablespoons ice water
9" fluted tart ring
Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Butter and flour a 9" metal tart ring with a fluted edge, tapping out any excess flour.
After dough has chilled for at least 2 hours, roll dough over tart pan gently pushing the dough into the pan so there are no gaps between the pan and the dough.
Fold over excess dough into the pan and push back against the fluted edge edge to make a thicker edge.
Trim the top so it is even with the rim. Prick all over with a fork and chill in the freezer for 15 minutes or so. ( You can also cover with plastic wrap and freeze for up to a week if you like.)
Line the tart pan with parchment paper, and fill with ceramic pie weights.
If you don't have weights, dried beans will do but they don't cook the bottom of the shell without a second bake, (beans removed).
Bake for 15 minutes, let cool for 10 minutes before removing beans or pie weights.
Let cool completely.
1/4 pound dried fruit
1 1/2 cups pecans
4 oz unsalted, softened butter
2 cups sugar( organic evaporated cane juice preferred)
1 1/2 cups corn syrup, light not high fructose.
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 Tablespoon 1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons whiskey
A couple of hours or a day in advance, soak a 1/4 bag of mixed dried fruits, peaches, pluots and nectarines work well here.
Lightly Toast the pecans, in a 325 degree oven for about 7-8 minutes.
After cooled, leave the prettiest and most intact halves about 10-15 as they are and chop the rest, medium fine.
After the whiskey soaked dried fruits have softened enough to chop easily, spread them evenly over the bottom of the per baked tart shell. Add the chopped pecans. ( save the halves for the end)
In a kitchen aide mixer or a hand held, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. On medium high speed, Add the eggs, one a time. Slowly add the corn syrup, then the vanilla and whiskey.
Making sure the filling is thoroughly mixed, pour just enough over the dried fruits and nuts to cover them. ( try not to let filling over flow over the edge of the crust between it and the metal ring; it will be difficult to remove the ring after it's baked. Arrange the pecan halves on top.
Bake at 350 until filling puffs up and the middle is solid when jiggled.
Let cool for about an hour but while still slightly warm, gently remove ring. Look at the ring and see if any filling has leaked over the edge; if so try to free the crust from the tart rim in those areas with a a pairing knife. Hold the tart with the palm of your hand not touching the outer ring. The rim should fall down over your forearm. Switch hands under the tart ring, and set it onto your serving plate or platter. Slide the blade of a utility knife between the bottom of the crust and the metal tart round, and remove the metal bottom.
Serve with lightly sweetened whipped cream.
- Chef Becky Courchesne, Co-Owner, Frog Hollow Farm