One of the best things Canada is known for is the pure maple syrup that it produces. So what better way to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday than with this Maple Butter Pecan Tart.
I live minutes away from a small mennonite town called St. Jacobs, where fresh maple syrup is sold year round, as it’s one of their top local commodities. We also celebrate a maple syrup festival every year in a small town called Elmira nearby. There’s plenty of ways to enjoy maple syrup beyond just topping your pancakes, like using it as a sweetener in baking or even in your next salad dressing! But today we will use it in this lovely tart to help us celebrate what makes us Canadian, our homegrown maple syrup!
To all those celebrating Canada Day, I hope you make these tarts and get your family together to enjoy this special treat!
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- FOR THE CRUST:
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into ¼-inch pieces and chilled
- 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 8 to 10 tablespoons ice water
- FOR THE FILLING:
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- ½ cup 100% pure maple syrup
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2 tbsp flour
- ½ cup halved pecans
- Make the crust. Pulse the butter, flour, and salt in a food processor until the mixture resembles coarse sand, with some small lumps of butter (no larger than pea-sized) remaining.
- Feed one tablespoon of ice water at a time through the feed tube of the food processor, pulsing 4 to 5 times after each addition. Stop adding water when the mixture begins to form large clumps and pulls away from sides of the food processor bowl.
- Dump the mixture onto a work surface and push it together into a big lump using your hands. Quickly form the dough into two balls and flatten them into 4-inch disks. Place each disk in a plastic baggie or wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least an hour and up to 4 days. Remove the dough from the refrigerator 3 to 4 minutes ahead of time so that it just starts to soften and is easier to roll.
- Lightly flour your work surface and rolling pin. Roll out the disk of dough from the centre moving outward, turning it a quarter turn and repeating until the diameter of the whole crust is about 4 inches larger than the pie pan. If the edges of the crust start to split, pinch them together before continuing. (Try not to handle the dough too much or your hands will warm it and start to melt the butter, resulting in a less-flaky crust.)
- Carefully transfer one rolled pie crust and fit into tart pan (or a pie plate).
- Make the filling. Brown the butter by placing it in a saucepan over medium heat, melt it until it begins to steam and foam. (Keep a close eye on it as it foams.) Swirl it gently, watching the colour. When it turns golden brown and releases the aroma of toasting nuts, immediately remove it from the heat and whisk in the maple syrup, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla. Add the flour and stir to combine. Add the pecans and stir to combine.
- Pour the filling into the tart pan. Top your tart how you'd like with the second pie crust. (You do not need to top it all all. You can alternatively keep the second crust for another pie or tart).
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes covered with foil. Remove foil and continue to bake another 15 minutes or until crust is browned and the filling is bubbling hot.