Oh woof I woke up this AM and had a terrible dream about singing to lots of people and totally forgetting the words. Which is only slightly terrifying because this could actually happen next weekend. Yep, that's right, me and my two favorite man crush monday's are singing and playing guitar at our school's talent show next weekend and if you couldn't tell I'm just a leeettle nervous.
But overall, I can't wait for it because it'll be so much fun. I've been an audience member for the last two years and I'm always in such awe of our talented classmates. There is a lot of, "Ooo I didn't know so-and-so could play the guitar!" and "Wow, these two guys sounded so good together!" and "They looked so good dancing!" and plenty more exclamations. I'm extra excited this year to see my sweet current roomie dance in the Indian dance and hear my beautiful college roomie sing, to name a few. There will also be other cool talents like violin and piano and even soccer ball juggling! If only my hobby was as cool to watch as soccer ball juggling - beating cake batter and pouring it into tins isn't quite as exciting - fine, I'll admit it.
But if I could whip out a baked good on stage in a quick 5 minute act - this pecan tart would be my recipe for everyone. It's got all the wonderful fillings of a pecan pie with full bodied molasses instead of extra corn syrup and a splash of maple whiskey to make it fun. And instead of fussing around with a pie crust, I gave it a shortbread crust to give you a buttery, slightly sweet mouthful that balances with the nuttiness of the pecans. If you're into the sweet-salty combo I would even sprinkle this whole bad boy with some Maldon sea salt flakes. You can slice it into many portions and I think it'd be a pretty great crowd pleaser. Perhaps next year's show I'll bake it - not on stage but maybe for backstage noms?
Regardless of my severe stage fright, I do truly hope you make it to the event next Saturday. It's a great evening and there will be so much talent on the stage. The best part is that it is a mega fundraiser to help out clinics in Indianapolis, including the student-run clinic along with a few others. So not only is it a fun night, but you feel extra great because you're making a difference in the community. If you're interested in going, you can buy tickets here - they're cheaper if you buy them now than at the door! Plus I hear you get dinner too, so get on it!
Pecan pie tart
For the shortbread crust (from King Arthur Flour)
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
For the pecan pie filling (adapted from Taste of Home)
- 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 3/4 cup light corn syrup
- 1/2 cup full bodied molasses
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons maple whiskey
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups pecan halves
For the shortbread crust
- Preheat oven to 300 F. Butter and flour 2 9 inch round tart pans. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract, then beat in the flour and salt. It will be a stiff mixture.
- Press the dough into the tart pans. Smooth the surface as best as you can with your hands.
- Prick the dough with a fork to prevent it from bubbling up in the oven too much. Then place in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes until it has slightly set. Remove from the oven and let it cool slightly while you work on your filling.
For the pecan pie filling and tart
- Increase the oven temperature to 350 F.
- In a large bowl, mix the brown sugar, corn syrup, molasses, butter, and whiskey together. Add in the eggs, salt, and vanilla extract and beat until well combined. Finally, fold in the pecan halves into the batter.
- Distribute the batter between the two tart pans and then bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes, or until the filling has set in the middle. The crust should look golden brown in color. Remove from the oven and let it cool completely before slicing. Enjoy with lots of friends and family! And a scoop of ice cream!