This No-Corn Syrup Maple Pecan Tart with dried cherries and dark rum is a twist on pecan pie for Thanksgiving and the winter holidays.
I originally developed this recipe for the 2011 Thanksgiving issue of EatingWell Magazine and shared it on November 8, 2013. I have updated the images and some of the text today.
I came up with the idea for this delicious tart in the summer (Typical life of a Recipe Developer is that you always seem to be cooking out of season). I remember bringing two variations I had tested to my mom’s summer cottage for the fourth of July. I wanted to get my family’s opinion about the amount of rum in it. Yeah, weird Fourth of July treat right? While everyone else was eating strawberry shortcake, we were having Thanksgiving pie.
Needless to say this No Corn Syrup Maple Pecan Tart with dried cherries was a hit even in the middle of the summer! It is just sweet enough, but not too sweet and the tart dried cherries balance out that sweetness perfectly and add a nice chewy texture that plays nicely with the meaty texture of the pecans.
Personally I would take a piece of a tart over pie any day. I love that the filling doesn’t overwhelm the crust. And believe me this crust is awesome and super easy. I doubled down on the pecans and used them in the crust and filling. All the ingredients for the crust are thrown in a food processor and then you just press the dough into the tart pan. No rolling required!
The filling is really just a little whisking and stirring to get it ready to be poured into the par-baked crust. Then you get to have a little fun arranging the pecan halves on top to make it extra pretty and holiday-table-worthy. The whole thing comes together in less than 30 minutes. And the final product will look and taste like you spent hours and hours in the kitchen.
How to make No-Corn Syrup Maple Pecan Tart
- Simple Whole-Grain Nut Crust – This crust couldn’t be easier to whip together and it is more wholesome than most because it is made with a heart-healthy line-up of whole-grain flour, nuts and canola. Just blend it together in the food processor and pat it into your tart pan. There is no rolling or chilling!
- Sweetened with Maple Syrup – The maple flavor in this tart totally rocks my world. Instead of corn syrup, which is found in many pecan pie recipes, I opted for my favorite natural sweetener, Maple Syrup. We make our own maple syrup, because we live in Vermont, and there’s nothing else to do in April and March. So it was an obvious choice for this recipe. But really it’s great because it adds flavor not just sweetness. If you can find it, choose Dark Robust, because it has the richest maple flavor.
- Pecans love to hang out with Cherries and Rum – Though I do love a traditional pecan pie, I really love the tart contrast of the cherries with the rich nut flavor. And a splash o’ booze just makes everything taste better!
So make sure to add this spectacular No Corn Syrup Maple Pecan Tart with dried cherries and rum to your Thanksgiving dessert rotation. You will be so happy that you did!
Don’t miss checking out a few of my other favorite Holiday dessert recipes…Print
Pecan Pie gets a healthy make-over and is turned into a No-Corn Syrup Maple Pecan Tart with dried cherries. It has a Whole-grain nut crust, sweetened with natural maple syrup. Plus cherries and rum are added in for a fun twist on the classic.
2 cups pecan halves, divided
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ¾ cup whole-wheat pastry flour
- 3 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon all-purpose flour, divided
- ½ teaspoon salt, divided
- 2 eggs, plus 1 egg yolk
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, divided
- 1 tablespoon canola oil, preferably organic
- 3 tablespoons cold water
- ½ cup maple syrup, preferably Grade A Dark Amber
- ½ cup dark brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons dark rum
- ½ cup dried cherries
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom on a baking sheet and coat lightly with cooking spray.
- Place ½ cup pecans and sugar in a food processor fitted with steel blade attachment. Process until the pecans are the consistency of rough meal. Add whole-wheat pastry flour, 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour and ¼ teaspoon salt and pulse until combined. Stir 1 egg yolk, 1 tablespoon melted butter and canola oil in a small bowl. With the food processor motor running, drizzle yolk mixture through the feed tube and process until completely mixed in. Drizzle in water with the motor running and then pulse just until mixture clumps together.
- Turn mixture out into the prepared pan; spread evenly and press firmly into the bottom and up sides to form a thin crust. Prick all over with a fork and transfer to the oven. Bake, pressing down with the back of a fork only if it starts to puff, until dry and slightly golden along the edges, 10 to 13 minutes.
- Meanwhile, whisk maple syrup, brown sugar, rum, the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, the remaining 2 eggs and the remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a medium bowl. Set aside ¼ cup of the maple mixture for glazing the pecans for the top of the tart. Chop 1/2 cup of the pecan halves and add to the medium bowl with the larger amount of maple mixture. Stir in the cherries. Mix the reserved ¼ cup maple mixture in a small bowl with the remaining 1 cup of the pecan halves for the pecans for the top of the tart.
- Remove the tart crust from the oven and reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F. While the crust is hot, brush the remaining 1/2 teaspoon flour over the crust with a pastry brush to fill in any holes or cracks. Spread the cherry and chopped pecan mixture in the baked crust. Arrange pecan halves decoratively over the top of the tart. Drizzle any remaining maple mixture over the tart. Bake the tart until it no longer jiggles when gently shaken, the top is lightly crackled and the filling is set-up, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely, at least 1 hour and remove the sides of the pan.
24 g Added Sugars, 43 mg cholesterol
Total time includes cooling time.
- Calories: 320
- Sugar: 27 g
- Sodium: 135 mg
- Fat: 19 g
- Saturated Fat: 3 g
- Carbohydrates: 40 g
- Fiber: 3 g
- Protein: 4.6 g
Keywords: thanksgiving,pie,dessert,pecan pie,tart,maple,natural,cherries,rum
Here are the original images associated with this blog post.