Folks, let me introduce you to what is quite possibly my favorite Thanksgiving dessert – Oatmeal Pecan Tart. Of course I always say that, don’t I?
When I became gluten-free, I started making this recipe in tart form because it was easier for me to make a gluten-free tart crust than a pie crust. We decided we liked it even better than the pie, so now I always make an Oatmeal Pecan Tart instead. The crust is buttery, lightly sweet and crisp – almost like a really good shortbread cookie. It really works well with the filling.
Just look at that filling! Just like pecan pie, only better. :)
Last week some food blogger friends and I got together at Ashlee’s house for a Thanksgiving feast, which we called Fakesgiving. On Friday I will share our full menu with links to all of the recipes. For today, you get my Oatmeal Pecan Tart. Our feast was delicious and really put me in the mood for Thanksgiving next week!
I made a few slight alterations to the filling that I think made it more delicious than in previous years. I’ve included them as optional ingredients. That way you can make it as it was written or with my alterations. Both ways are equally delicious!
The tart shell recipe comes from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking book. It is perfection. I substituted all-purpose gluten-free flour, my friend Shanna’s special blend. You can use either depending on your individual needs. Be sure to check this post for a full tutorial on how to make the perfect tart crust.
The other slight amendments I made were the additions of a little booze, ground cinnamon, and nutmeg. It was just enough to taste, but not to detract from the other flavors going on in the filling. I have also started substituting brown rice syrup for the corn syrup. It gives the pie a little deeper, more caramel flavor. It was quite lovely and I ate way too many slices in one sitting. (Two, in fact.) And shared the rest with my friends and husband.
- For tart shell:
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour (I used gluten-free all-purpose flour)
- ½ cup confectioner's sugar (powdered sugar)
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 1 stick plus 1 tablespoon (9 tablespoons) very cold (or frozen) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 large egg yolk
- For filling:
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1 cup brown rice syrup (can use corn syrup, honey, or pure maple syrup)
- ⅔ cup regular oats
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 Tablespoon high quality Scotch whiskey* or Maker's Mark Bourbon (optional)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg(optional)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten (or 2 egg whites and 2 large whole eggs)
- For tart shell:
- Place the flour, confectioner's sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to combine. Scatter the butter over the dry ingredients. Pulse again, starting with a few short bursts, followed by slightly longer pulses. The butter should be in mostly smaller pieces with a few larger pieces about the size of peas.
- Stir the yolk, just to break it up, and add it through the feed hole a little at a time, pulsing after each addition. When the egg is in, process in long pulses, about 10 seconds each, until the dough starts to come together. Just before you reach this stage, the sound of the machine working the dough will change. That's your cue to stop pulsing.
- Turn the dough out onto a work surface. Lightly press the dough together, kneading a little bit if necessary, to incorporate any of the remaining dry ingredients.
- Butter a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Press the dough evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the pan, using all but one little piece of dough, which you should save in the refrigerator to patch any cracks after the crust is baked. Don't press to hard - just enough for the dough to cling together. Use your hand to flatten the very top of the edge as you press up for a clean look.
- Freeze the crust for at least 30 minutes, preferably longer, before baking.
- Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter the shiny side of a piece of aluminum foil and fit the foil, buttered side down, tightly against the crust. Put the tart pan on a baking sheet to bake the crust for 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil. If the crust has puffed, press it down gently with the back of a spoon. For a partially baked crust, patch the crust if necessary, then transfer the crust to a cooling rack.
- For filling:
- Preheat oven to 325°. In a bowl, whisk together brown sugar, brown rice syrup, butter, spices, whiskey or bourbon, if using, and eggs. Stir in the oats and chopped pecans. Pour into prepared crust.
- Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until center is set. Test for doneness by gently jiggling the tart. If it's very wiggly, it's not done. It will be done when it still wobbles a little bit in the very center. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Recipe source: Laura Martin, Cooking Light, NOVEMBER 2006
*There is some debate as to whether spirits are gluten-free, even when made with rye and/or barley. If the Scotch is of high quality and distilled, there is a high likelihood that all of the gluten is gone. I used a single malt Scotch for this and it did not seem to affect me in that small amount. Maker's Mark is gluten-free, and is the better choice for those with celiac and gluten intolerance.