Maple Bourbon Pecan Tart

This Maple Bourbon Pecan Tart is nutty, flavorful, and impressive but requires only basic baking skills. A festive holiday or special dessert.

Maple Bourbon Pecan Tart

Holidays are the time for long cherished traditions.  And sometimes, by chance, new traditions.

Yes, the first year I made this Maple Bourbon Pecan Tart, my mother barged in and brought my traditional Betty Crocker French Apple Pie (okay, I did get the recipe from her…) to the family Thanksgiving party.

And it was time for me to come up with a new dessert.

I found a (now removed) recipe and was attracted to the hefty load of pecans that graced the filling.  Even better, it had a nice dose of bourbon. Now, one cooking lesson I‘ve learned is that even a few tablespoons of alcohol can add a big flavor boost. 

So I was pretty sure it would be a hit.

crust edged with maple leaf cutouts

Why You’ll Love This!

Tasty.  This Pecan Tart is loaded with pecans so is nuttier and a little less sweet than many pecan pies.

Festive.  Pecan Pie is a holiday classic.  And to complete the look and celebrate the maple in this, I cut little maple leaves and lined them up along the outside of the tart.  No talent required!  (Though the maple leaves are optional.)

Easy.  Just mix some simple filling ingredients and pour into a pre-baked crust (or maybe not—see To Blind Bake or Not, below)

Maple Bourbon Pecan Tart

What You’ll Need

Ingredient Notes

  • Pie crust.  This forms the base of the pie and is a compliment to the nutty flavor.   
  • Eggs.  This adds richness and helps the pie set.
  • Brown sugar, Granulated sugar, Maple syrup, Light corn syrup, Dark corn syrup.  These add sweetness and flavor.
  • ButterThis adds richness and flavor.
  • Bourbon.  This adds flavor.
  • Salt.  Salt serves as a flavor enhancer.
  • Vanilla.  This adds flavor.
  • Pecans.  This adds flavor and nutty goodness.

Special Tools

  • I used an 11 inch removable bottom tart pan to create the distinctive look (though it should work as a pie too (see variations).

Step by Step Directions

Fit a single pie crust into an 11-inch tart pan and blind bake if  desired (see to Blind Bake or Not below).  See King Arthur for instructions on how to blind bake.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and sugars together. Stir in the next 7 ingredients (maple syrup through vanilla). Fold in the chopped pecans.

mix filling Pour the filling into prepared pie crust. 

pour filling into crust

For an optional decorative touch, take additional crust (you use about 1/3 of a recipe/prepared crust*) and cut maple leaves or other decorations with a small cookie cutter. Arrange these around the edge of the crust.

add cutouts to edge

Set tart pan on a baking sheet (in case the pan leaks). Bake for 40-50 minutes until top is set and crust is golden brown.

done baking

To Blind Bake or Not

If you’re not a regular pie baker, you may not be very familiar with the idea of blind baking a crust. The idea behind this is to pre-bake a crust if a quick-baking filling may get done before the crust, or if a wet filling might saturate the crust.  Then you can still have a perfect crust.  It is usually recommended for specific long baking pies including pumpkin and pecan, as well as for most pies with a very short baking time.

Now my original recipe didn’t call for blind baking the crust.  And I don’t remember having any problems with it. 

But after seeing so many Great British Baking shows where a pie was criticized for the infamous soggy bottom, I decided to blind bake it this time. 

blind baking a crust

There are many different ways to blind bake (different durations, temperatures, etc), but it generally involves fitting the crust into the pie pan, topping it with parchment or aluminum foil, then filling it with something to hold down the crust such as beans or sugar.  The crust is baked until set, then the weights are removed to allow the bottom to brown.  There are a number of variations and nuances, but that is the gist.

It’s an extra step and I always second guess myself when I do it. 

Now recently, I read instructions from the Milk Street PBS cooking show  saying you could bake a pumpkin pie on a pre-heated metal sheet or baking stone and it would accomplish the same thing as pre-baking the crust.  Now it’s likely the pecan pie would have similar results–so check that out if you’re interested!

maple bourbon pecan tart

Variations and Special Diets

I use an 11-inch removable bottom tart pan to create the distinctive look of this tart.  But the original was baked as a pie, so you should have success baking it as a Maple Bourbon Pecan Pie if you prefer.  The baking time may need to be extended in that case.

If a whole pie is a bit intimidating, I have a number of cookie recipes that have delicious pecan flavor, but in more bite-sized pieces like these Pecan Pie Cookies and Coconut Dream Bars

Leftovers

The USDA says that all egg-based pies need to be stored in the refrigerator.  This should be finished within 3-4 days.

Pecan Tart

Tips & FAQs

Despite being baked in a non-stick pan that was sprayed with non-stick spray, the crust stuck to the tart pan quite tightly.  I ended up sliding a sharp metal spatula under each piece–then it released nicely.  Next time I may use one of the more specialized baking release sprays.

I have made this with homemade and commercial pie crust.  With the commercial crust, I used about 1/3 of the second crust in the package to make the maple leaf edging.  Then I turned the rest into pie crust cookies by brushing with butter, sprinkling with cinnamon sugar, and baking.  For the homemade crust, I just made about 25% more than my usual recipe for a single pie crust.

As the pie starts to bake, the maples leaves sink a bit into the filling.  But as the filling sets, it pushes them back up again and they brown.  So don’t panic (like I did).

add maple leave cutout to edge

Perfect Pecan Recipes

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Maple Bourbon Pecan Tart

Maple Bourbon Pecan Tart

A nutty bourbon pecan tart that that looks (and tastes) impressive but requires only basic baking skills.
Author: Inger
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Course Dessert
Servings 12
Calories 429 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 1/3 unbaked pie crust or 1 crust if you skip the maple leave decoration
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup dark corn syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons butter melted
  • 3 Tablespoons bourbon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cup chopped pecans

Instructions
 

  • Fit a single pie crust into an 11-inch tart pan and blind bake if desired (see note).
  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and sugars together. Stir in the next 7 ingredients (maple syrup through vanilla). Fold in the chopped pecans.
  • Pour the filling into prepared pie crust (I used an 11 inch tart pan). For an optional decorative touch, take additional crust (you use about 1/3 of a recipe/prepared crust*) and cut maple leaves or other decorations with a small cookie cutter. Arrange these around the edge of the crust.
  • Set tart pan on a baking sheet (just in case the pan leaks). Bake for 40-50 minutes until top is set and crust is golden brown.

Notes

If you roll a prepared refrigerated pie crust slightly larger, it will perfectly fit an 11 inch tart pan (I will occasionally just press it in with my fingers).
See my discussion on To Blind Bake or Not (above).  See King Arthur for instructions on how to blind bake https://www.kingarthurbaking.com/blog/2015/11/23/blind-bake-pie-crust.

Nutrition

Calories: 429kcalCarbohydrates: 42gProtein: 5gFat: 28gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 7gMonounsaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 46mgSodium: 223mgPotassium: 166mgFiber: 3gSugar: 30gVitamin A: 133IUVitamin C: 0.3mgCalcium: 41mgIron: 1mg
I am not a health professional and nutrition data is calculated programatically. Accuracy may vary with product selection, calculator accuracy, etc. Consult a professional for the best information.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Updated from original, published on Nov 30, 2013.

20 thoughts on “Maple Bourbon Pecan Tart

    1. Inger Post author

      Thanks Kathy. I am thinking of trying it with the little turkey cutouts all around, just for kicks, if this becomes a Thanksgiving standard for me.

    1. Inger Post author

      Thanks Lisa–I was so happy when they didn’t sink into the filling. That’s the type of thing that usually happens to me when I try to get cute 😉 Thanksgiving was great–I hope yours was too!

  1. grace

    i love the tiny leaves, how perfect! pecan pie has definitely become my favorite thanksgiving-ish dessert, and i love the maple in there!

    1. Inger Post author

      Thanks Grace–I can’t say I’m at all surprised that you are a pecan pie lover!

  2. Tammy

    Absolutely gorgeous pie! Love your tradition. This year I was reduced to sweet potatoes and green beans.

    1. Inger Post author

      Thanks Tammy. Sweet potatoes and green beans are awesome you know–and healthier than pecan pie;-).

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