Caramelized Pecan Tart


Caramelized pecan tart, pecans baked in a tart shell with brown sugar, butter, egg, and vanilla. Brown sugar caramelizes around pecans. So good!

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Hello fellow pecan lovers! If you’ve had your fill of pecan pie and are still craving pecans, here is a lovely addition to your holiday dessert repertoire—a pecan tart, packed with pecans and baked with brown sugar and butter until the sugar melts and caramelizes. You get all that great caramel flavor without having to make a separate sauce.

It’s rich, nutty, caramel-y and perfect for a holiday gathering. Excellent with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream. Do make sure you have enough people to share it with. Although it’s not big in size, a little goes a long way!

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Caramelized Pecan Tart Recipe

  • Yield: Serves 8 to 10



  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chilled butter (4 ounces, 1 stick), cut into cubes
  • 1 Tbsp ice water


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 cups of whole pecans

 Equipment needed:

  • One 9-inch by 1-inch tart pan with a removable bottom
  • Food processor to make the tart dough


1 Make the dough. Combine in a food processor the flour, sugar, and salt. Pulse to blend. Add the cubed butter and pulse until you have pea-sized pieces of butter. Add 1 Tbsp ice water and pulse until the dough starts to come together into a ball. Turn the dough out onto a clean surface and form into a ball with your hands. Flatten into a disc form, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

2 Form the crust. Press the dough into the center of the tart pan and work it with your fingers and the palm of your hand so that it spreads to the edges and up the sides of the tart pan. Lay a large piece of aluminum foil into the pan on top of the dough and press it into the dough so that it helps the dough keep its shape in the pan. Then place the pan into the freezer for 30 minutes.

3 Blind bake the crust. Preheat oven to 400°F. After 30 minutes, remove the pan from the freezer and gently remove the foil from the dough. Place the pan on top of a sheet of foil (to catch drippings) on top of a baking sheet. Prick the bottom of the tart dough with the tines of a fork in several places and place the tart pan in the oven. Bake for 15 -20 minutes, or until the dough is lightly browned. Remove from oven and let sit at room temperature to cool.

4 Make the filling. Put the butter, brown sugar, egg, and salt in a large bowl. Stir until well combined. Then gently stir in the pecans. Pour the filling into the pre-baked, cooled tart shell.

5 Bake the tart. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place the tart on a foil lined pan and bake for about 25 minutes until lightly browned and slightly puffy all over. Remove from oven and let cool to touch. Then while the tart is still slightly warm, gently remove the outer ring of the tart pan, leaving the tart on the metal tart pan bottom. Let cool all the way before cutting to serve.

Serve with whipped cream. Use a sharp chef's knife to cut the tart. You have to cut through pecans, so make strong, swift cuts.

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Caramelized Pecan Tart


Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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9 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Kavitha

    How would you recommend storing the pie/how long do you think it would last?

  2. MarryM

    Made this yesterday and loved it. I took the tips from others and baked it in a regular pie dish and added chunks of chocolate. The crust was flaky, which I got compliments on. I did have to add 2 Tblsp. of water instead of 1 to get it to form a dough. Thanks Elise.

  3. Amanda

    In one word, AMAZING! The crust is perfectly buttery, the filling rich and sweet. Loved it!

  4. Monica

    I made this last night for an early Thanksgiving with friends, and it was great! I live in Europe, so corn syrup is not easily available but I was hankering for pecan pie- this recipe fit the bill. Not only was this good, but it was REALLY easy to put together. I didn’t have a tart pan, so just baked in a pie dish and it was fine. :-)

    It’s not “subtle”- you are definitely eating a tart made of sugar, butter, and pecans- but… that’s a pretty darned good combination!

  5. Sandy S

    Hard to say which I like the most when it comes to pecan or pumpkin pies? But, this Caramelized Pecan Pie may be a tie breaker! Wanting to stay glutten free, I have been thinking of making a Spiced Pumpkin Parfait for Thanksgiving desert, but now I am thinking I might try making this recipe into a parfait!!

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