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Pecan Pie Tarts

Posted on Nov 26, 2012 by in Recipes | 0 comments


Pecan pie has always been one of my favorite desserts. As most of you know by now, I’m not really into sweets all that much, so when I do have something sweet it has to be extraordinary – and pecan pie is just that. I am from the South, so that’s probably where my love for pecan pie comes from. Growing up we had three pecan trees in our backyard so we could go out and get fresh pecans for holiday baking – with the cost of pecans these days I really wish I still had one of those trees!

Vegan Pecan Pie Recipe

The thing about pecan pie, though, is that it can be a bit finicky. Sometimes the center is too runny and sometimes it’s too ¬†gelatinous – it’s all about finding the balance. The last couple of years I’ve made vegan pecan pie for Thanksgiving and the filling has been hit or miss (though I must say it doesn’t matter the texture, it always tastes good, even if it doesn’t look that way). This year I decided to play around with this recipe a bit and transform it into mini tarts to see if that helped with the filling issue – I must say that I was pleased with the end result – not too runny, but not too much like a firm jello.

Pecan Pie Tarts

I used a muffin tin for these, but you could definitely use mini tart pans if you have them – that way you can get the fun ribbed edges. I encourage you to roll the dough out fairly thin so that the crust doesn’t become too hard and is still flaky, but a thicker dough will make them a bit sturdier if you are transporting them. This recipe makes 8 mini tarts using a regular size muffin tin.

Vegan Pecan Pie Tarts

Pecan Pie Tarts


    For the crust:
  • 1/2 cup Wheat Flour
  • 1/2 cup AP Flour
  • 1/4 cup Cold Earth Balance
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp Cold Water
  • For the topping:
  • 1 cup Pecan Halves
  • 1 tbsp Earth Balance
  • 2 tbsp Brown Sugar
  • For the filling:
  • 6 Saltine Crackers
  • 1/4 cup Water
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Earth Balance
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Agave Nectar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 tbsp Applesauce
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Cornstarch


  1. Prepare the crust by mixing the flours, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl. Cut the cold Earth Balance into the crust with two butter knives or a pastry cutter until the dough is very crumbly. Mix in the cold water until a ball of dough forms. Place between two pieces of plastic wrap and press out into a disc. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or longer (can even make the night before).
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. Roll out the dough to desired thickness and using the top of a drinking glass, cut circles out of the dough. Cut out 8 circles in total. Lightly grease a muffin tin and press the circles of dough into the cavities of the tin. Bake for 3-5 minutes or until slightly hard to the touch. Set aside while preparing topping and filling.
  4. Place the crackers and water into a small bowl. Let sit for 10 minutes or until water is absorbed. While crackers are soaking, prepare the topping by melting the Earth Balance in a small skillet over medium heat, add the pecans and brown sugar - mix well. Once pecans are caramelized, 1-2 minutes, remove from heat and spread out on a piece of wax paper to cool.
  5. In a food processor, mix the cracker/water mixture with the rest of the filling ingredients. Once well combined, 30 seconds or so, pour the mixture into a small saucepan and warm over medium heat. Bring to a low boil, reduce heat, and simmer 1-2 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken. Remove from heat. Spoon the filling into each tart - filling to the top of the shell. Top each tart with 4-5 caramelized pecans. Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool completely before serving.


What is your favorite holiday dessert? I’ll be posting lots of ideas for the holidays as well as more gift guide reviews for the rest of this month and into December.¬†

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