Pumpkin Tarts (Mini Pumpkin Pies)

Pumpkin Tarts

Pumpkin Tarts with Cinnamon-Spiced Whipped Cream

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving surrounded by family and friends and delighted in moist turkey, highly-caloric sides, and rich desserts.

With the past several weeks devoted to grading essays, preparing for a craft party, and baking for Thanksgiving, I finally have time to write a post. Yay!

Although I know I’m late to the Pumpkin Recipe Food Blogger Posting season, which runs from October 1st through Thanksgiving, I just have to share about these Pumpkin Tarts. Not only do these mini pies taste creamy and have an ever-so-slightly-tangy crust, but they have a lovely dollop of cinnamon-and-nutmeg-spiced whipped cream.

But I really want to share these today to tell you my tale of woe.

After slaving away at making the dough, the filling, and patiently waiting while they baked, the taste of the warm pumpkin tarts didn’t thrill me.

The following morning, though, after a stint in the fridge, I took another taste test. Much better, worthy now of taking to the holiday extravaganza.

Then the cinnamon whipped cream piped atop with a star tip made them look so adorable. Great taste + adorable looks = winner winner winner!!!

Fast forward to after-dinner-let’s-bring-on-the-dessert time.

Uh oh.

Puzzlement.

The mini pumpkin tarts had vanished. I searched high and low. I searched my brain trying to remember if I had piled the tarts on the kitchen counter along with the other zillion desserts.

After ages of wandering in circles looking for them and wracking my brain, I finally remembered that after piping on those adorable little puffs of whipped cream, I had placed the container back in the fridge.

And totally forgot to take them out before leaving!!!!!!!

Utter disappointment that I didn’t get to share these.

But now I get to eat them all!!!!

And they taste mighty delightful for both breakfast and lunch.

So, here are a few notes about the recipe:

  • I used the cream cheese dough from the Pecan Tarts recipe. Easy to work with. Can be rolled into balls and left in the muffin tins made a day or two in advance.
  • The pumpkin filling takes slightly more labor than the usual recipe for pumpkin pie but bakes into the silkiest, creamiest pumpkin pie. Totally worth it. Can also be made a day or two ahead of time, which then allows for the flavors to marry and mingle.
  • Cinnamon-spiced whipped cream. Takes this over the top. Don’t skip it!
Pumpkin Tarts

Pumpkin Tarts

Pumpkin Tarts (Mini Pumpkin Pies)

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Yield: 6 dozen tarts

INGREDIENTS

Cream Cheese Pastry Dough

  • 2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups butter (3 sticks), room temperature
  • 3 1/3 cups flour (14 ounces)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Pumpkin Pie Filling

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 eggs plus 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can of yams in syrup, drained
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (grade B used for cooking/baking: see Huffington Post info)
  • 2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. Kosher salt

Cinnamon-Spiced Whipped Cream

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch (if you want to stabilize the whipped cream, which allows it to last longer, maintain its shape, and not separate after a day)

DIRECTIONS

Cream Cheese Pastry Dough

  1. Allow cream cheese and butter to soften to room temperature. To speed this process, cut cream cheese and butter into small chunks.
  2. Blend cream cheese and butter (use wooden spoon, pastry blender, or food processor).
  3. Sift then measure flour; add salt and whisk to blend. Stir into cream cheese and butter until flour is absorbed.
  4. Form 1-inch balls (I used my small cookie dough scoop) and place into ungreased muffin tins. Chill for 30 minutes.
  5. Remove pastry from refrigerator. Form shells by using tart tamper: Dip tamper into flour to prevent it from sticking to dough. Press tamper into the dough ball in each muffin well until the dough rises up the sides and to the top. If you don’t have a tamper, press dough with thumb around the edges and bottom until muffin well is evenly covered. Place tart shells back in refrigerator until ready to use. At this point, you can cover them tightly with plastic wrap and store in fridge for a couple of days.

Pumpkin Pie Filling

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together heavy cream, milk, eggs, yolks, and vanilla.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine pumpkin purée, drained yams, sugar, maple syrup, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt; bring to a sputtering simmer. Continue to simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring constantly and mashing yams, until thick and shiny. (I used my immersion blender to mash the yams.)
  3. Remove saucepan from heat; whisk in cream mixture until fully incorporated. To remove any lumps and create a silky-smooth mixture, run it through a fine-meshed sieve. At this point, you can store filling in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a couple of days, or you can use immediately. If not using immediately, rewarm the mixture before filling tart shells.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  5. Fill tart shells to the top. Carefully transfer muffin pan to preheated oven. Bake tarts for 30 minutes. Transfer muffin tins to wire rack and allow to cool completely. Chill in refrigerator overnight.

Cinnamon-Spiced Whipped Cream

  1. Using an electric or stand mixer, mix heavy cream until soft peaks form. Start at low speed and increase speed to medium-high as cream begins to thicken.
  2. When cream thickens enough to form soft peaks when you raise the beaters, add the powdered sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg (and cornstarch if you want to stabilize the whipped cream). Beat until mixture thickens enough to maintain peaks, which shouldn’t take but a few seconds more of beating.
  3. Either dollop the whipped cream onto the tarts that have chilled overnight, or pipe onto tarts using star tip.

adapted from the following SOURCES:

What’s Cooking in My Kitchen (cakes, cookies, cupcakes, mini pies, and ice cream)

With potlucks, work luncheons, and Thanksgiving on the horizon, I thought I had best get busy baking up some goodies ahead of time, most of them stocked in the freezer.

Sweet and Salty Butterscotch Pecan Cookies

Sweet and Salty Butterscotch Pecan Cookies

I have Sweet and Salty Butterscotch Pecan cookie dough in the freezer, ready for baking. These cookies receive the most rave reactions every time I share them.

Pecan Tassies

Pecan Tassies (mini pecan pies)

Pecan Tassies, bite-sized pecan pies, will grace a potluck at the gym. These freeze well in an airtight container, but that means I can easily sneak a tassie or two each night. I hope they last until the potluck later this week!! By the way, this time I added about 5 chocolate chips to the bottom of each crust before adding the filling. Extra yum!

Pumpkin Buttermilk Pound Cake

Pumpkin Buttermilk Pound Cake with Caramel Icing

A scrumptious Pumpkin Buttermilk Pound Cake with Caramel Icing, sans icing but tightly enveloped in plastic wrap and housed in the freezer, awaits Thanksgiving festivities, returning for a repeat performance after its highly successful debut last year.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes

I baked Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes recently, falling in love with their espresso and pumpkin combo. Truth be told, it’s the frosting that stole my heart. I knew these would grace the table at the next salad club lunch at work, taking place this week.

Although these aren’t stocked in the freezer, I just have to share about these Apple Fritters I made recently for a book club meeting. Oh my goodness, this recipe makes the heavens sing. Check out Nicole’s post at Galley Gourmet for pics and recipe. I modified her recipe slightly, using grated apples rather than diced. I made it both ways, actually, and prefer the grated version. These are best eaten shortly after frying.

Finally, I tried my hand yet again at caramels, only to add another tale to my list of caramel woes. However, this time the caramels almost set properly. They are a bit too soft and every time I cut them, they morph back into one large blob after a few minutes. Sigh…

Since the Apple Cider Caramels still tasted yummy despite their blobby status, I decided to give the Browned Butter Caramel Stuffed Cookies a try and rescue the caramel. Failure. Sort of. I must have made the cookie balls too small and/or the caramel pieces too big; the caramel simply oozed out the bottoms of the cookies. Bummer because the browned butter cookies bake up outta-this-world-crazy-divinely-delicious and the apple cider caramel pairs perfectly with it.

As I held the tray of ruined cookies in my hand, about to toss them into the trash bin, I had a rescue idea flash into my brain: crumble the cookies and toss them into a batch of vanilla ice cream. So I did. Truthfully, I think it’s just a so-so combo, but my hubby loves it.

Vanilla Caramel Cookie Ice Cream

Vanilla Caramel Cookie Ice Cream

I tried another vanilla ice cream recipe for this, though, that hubby claims is better than his beloved Hagen Daaz. At Galley Gourmet, Nicole used the French Vanilla Ice Cream from David Liebovitz’s book The Perfect Scoop, but she modified it by adding some corn syrup and vodka. It certainly does create a soft, creamy, rich, and easy-to-scoop ice cream.

Oh, and if you ever have a ruined cake, you can try a trifle for a rescue mission. I had to do that with a burnt chocolate bundt cake a couple years ago, but I successfully turned that disaster into Chocolate Berry Trifles. I got the idea from Michelle at Brown-Eyed Baker and her carrot cake disaster rescue: Carrot Cake Trifle.

Chocolate Berry Trifle

Chocolate Berry Trifle

With all this baking, I can hardly wait for Thanksgiving. It’s my favorite of the holidays because it’s all about family, friends, and food. And I look forward to making Turkey Tetrazzini again from the broth I’ll make from the leftover carcass and all the meat I’ll get from those bones. It ranks as one of the most delicious savory recipes, I think, to come out of my oven.

Turkey Tetrazzini

Turkey Tetrazzini

What’s your favorite food at Thanksgiving? Try asking that at the dinner table. Not one person said turkey the year someone posed that question! My favorite: my mom’s sauerkraut. Or maybe Ladera’s stuffing.

Okay, only 11 more days until Turkey Day!! Wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday filled with gratitude.

Apple Pie

ApplePie

Decisions, decisions…so many recipes to share! I sit here this Sunday morning debating, pondering whether to share a savory dish or a delectable dessert or a scrumptious cookie…

And apple pie shouts out loudest.

I had never made an apple pie before. I remember watching a former roommate peel, core, and slice apples right into a pie crust, dotting it all with butter and sprinkling with cinnamon and sugar. She made it look so simple, but in my early 20’s, I had yet to accomplish many baking skills.

Once you surpass the pie crust creation stage, yes, making apple pie is fairly simple. But oh, the woes of the pie crust! And although it’s not hard at all to mix together an apple pie, it is certainly time consuming to peel, core, and cut all those apples. Worth it, though? Absolutely!!

I scoured quite a few recipes, trying to pick one. I finally settled on an apple pie I found on Mel’s Kitchen Cafe blog. It requires the extra step of sauteeing the apples on the stovetop for a few minutes, but this step reduces the amount of juices that can otherwise make for a soggy pie. Ultimately, it allows for even more apples piled mile-high in the actual pie, and I liked the sound of that.

When I took my first bite, though, I really, really, really loved the lemony tang to this pie. After pre-cooking the apples on the stovetop, you drain them, saving the juices. Taking some of the juice, you add some lemon to it, and this gets put back into the pie. Yum! I also took the liberty of adding a few additional spices and flavorings to this particular step.

Overall, the pie had lots and lots of apple layers, warm spices, the bright hint of lemon–all enveloped in a flaky crust.

And good news: it freezes well. I took the leftover pie, cut it into slices, wrapped each slice in plastic wrap, then tossed them into a baggie and stored them in the freezer.

I think this would taste scrumptious with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. In the photo below, I tested it with a scoop of cinnamon ice cream. Generally, that would pair well with apple pie, but this particular pie has that strong hint of lemon that just didn’t take too well with cinnamon ice cream.

Tell ya what, though, it tastes stellar all on its own; it doesn’t even need ice cream to dress up its flavor.

ApplePie3

Apple Pie

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INGREDIENTS

  • double pie crust (recipe below)
  • 2 1/2 pounds (about 5) firm, tart apples (such as Granny Smith), peeled, cored, and sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 2 1/2 pounds (about 5) firm, sweet apples (such as Gala), peeled, cored, and sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. grated fresh lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. + 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg

DIRECTIONS

  1. Roll one disk of pie dough into a 12-inch circle and fit into a 9-inch pie plate, letting the excess dough hang over the edge (or just buy pre-made pie crusts). Trim the excess dough, allowing a 1/2-inch overhang. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Roll the other disk of dough into a 12-inch circle on a lightly floured surface and transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes also.
  2. In a Dutch oven or large pot, toss together the apples, 1/2 cup of the granulated sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 tsp. lemon zest, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 1/8 tsp. cinnamon.
  3. Cover the pot; cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the apples are tender when poked with a fork but are not mushy, 10-12 minutes (don’t overcook because the apples will finish cooking and softening up in the oven).
  4. Transfer the apples to a rack placed over a rimmed baking sheet, allowed them to both drain and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Be sure to reserve those drained juices.
  5. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  6. Mix together 1/4 cup of the reserved juice from the apples, 2 tsp. lemon juice, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp. vanilla, and 1/4 tsp. nutmeg.
  7. Spread the apples into the dough-lined pie plate, mounding them slightly in the middle, and drizzle with the lemon juice mixture.
  8. Loosely roll the second piece of dough around the rolling pin and gently unroll it over the pie. Fold the overhang from the bottom crust over the top crust, crimping the edges together. Cut 4-5 vent gashes in the top of the pie, like spokes on a bicycle tire. Brush the crust with the lightly beaten egg white, and sprinkle with the remaining  1 tbsp. of sugar (or use turbinado sugar).
  9. Place the pie on a foil-lined baking sheet (to catch drips), and bake until crust is golden, about 25 minutes.
  10. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees F and continue to bake until the juices are bubbling and the crust is a deep golden brown, about 25-30 minutes longer.
  11. Remove from oven and allow the pie to cool on a wire rack until the filling has set, about 2 hours. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

SOURCE: adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe who adapted fromAmerica’s Test Kitchen Family Baking Handbook

One Minute Pie Dough  

(food processor required)

Makes dough for one single pie crust; can easily be doubled for a two-crust pie

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 3/4 cups flour (about 9 ounces)
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 1/2 sticks (12 tbsp.) unsalted butter, cold, cut into slices
  • 1/2 tsp. salt (omit salt if using salted butter)
  • 1/4 cup ice water (approximately)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place flour, sugar, and salt in food processor. Pulse.
  2. Add about half of the butter. Pulse.
  3. Add the remaining butter. Pulse until mixture turns into coarse crumbs.
  4. Through the feed tube, slowly add the ice water and pulse until the dough gathers into a ball. It if doesn’t form a ball after a few seconds, add a few more drops of ice water until it does.
  5. Take the dough and flatten it into a disc and place it on a sheet of floured plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
  6. When dough has chilled, roll it out between two sheets of plastic wrap (a little trick that will make pie dough rolling much easier!) until it is a little larger than your pie dish. Transfer the flattened dough to the pie dish by gently rolling up the sheet of dough around the rolling pin and transferring the rolling pin to the pie plate and unrolling the dough. Gently press the dough down into the pie plate.

SOURCE: The Italian Dish 

Fresh Strawberry Pie

I’ve been waiting since last strawberry season to try a mile-high strawberry pie–specifically the one published in the Cooks Illustrated magazine. I adore two kinds of pie: strawberry and berry. I have a thing for tart and sweet flavors :  ) When I saw the recipe, my mind bookmarked it, and I’ve been patiently waiting for berry season to begin–and time to test this out.

Years ago I tasted strawberries from the stand, and from that point on, the bland grocery store strawberries were banned from my shopping list. There is absolutely no comparison. The stand berries burst with sweetness and are the most gigantic strawberries ever. I highly recommend farmer’s market or local stand strawberries for this dessert.

I’ve only tried making pies a couple times, and not with the greatest of success. There is just something elusive about that pie crust and the overall attractiveness of my final products. But just like I tell my students, practice makes perfect, so I felt ready to tackle a pie again. And the results were satisfactory.

The gel that helps to hold the strawberries together is made from pureed berries, so the flavor is intensely fruity and sweet. It’s not overly thick and produces a lovely sheen to the overall pie.

Although the slices of pie crumbled into a mass of strawberries once cut, it was a moot point with a dessert that tasted this scrumptious. Besides, the mound of whipped cream decorated the mass of strawberries, hiding the crumbled pile.

By the way, this turns kind of mushy the following day, so it’s best eaten within a few hours. I still ate it in the day or two following, and although it was still yummy, it begins to lose its flair.

Fresh Strawberry Pie

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INGREDIENTS

Baked Pie Shell

  • 1 1/4 cups (6 1/4 ounces) unbleached, all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. table salt
  • 8 tbsp. cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 3 tbsp. ice cold water

Filling

  • 4 pints (about 3 pounds) fresh strawberries, gently rinsed and dried, hulled
  • 3/4 cup sugar (5 1/4 ounces) sugar
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Sure-Jell for low-sugar recipes (the pink box)
  • generous pinch table salt
  • 1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 baked pie shell

Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup cold heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp. sugar

DIRECTIONS

Baked Pie Shell (for 9-inch pie)

  1. Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in the bowl of a food processor. Mix briefly to blend.
  2. Add the butter pieces and mix on medium-low speed to cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse sand and the largest pieces of butter are not much bigger than peas.
  3. Mix in the cold water on low speed just until the dough comes together.
  4. Flatten the dough into a 6-inch disk, wrap in plastic, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. (This dough can be frozen for up to two months.)
  5. Remove from the refrigerator. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface, making a 12-inch circle and dough that is about 1/8 inch thick. To transfer the dough easily to your pie plate, wrap it loosely around your rolling pin, then unroll it over the pie plate. Gently press dough into bottom of pie plate, and leave overhang in place. Refrigerate until dough is firm, about 30 minutes.
  6. Trim overhang to 1/2 inch beyond lip of pie plate. Fold overhang under itself, aligning folded edge of dough with edge of pie plate. Flute dough or press tines of fork against dough to flatten against rim of pie plate. Refrigerate dough-lined plate until firm, about 15 minutes.
  7. Remove pie plate from refrigerator, line crust with foil, and fill with pie weights or beans (toss beans afterward as I’ve read they aren’t good for cooking after use as weights). Bake for 15 minutes; remove foil and weights, rotate place, and bake for additional 5-10 minutes, until crust is golden brown and crisp. Let cool to room temperature.

Yield: 1 (9-inch) pie crust

Filling

  1. Select 6 ounces (about 1 1/2 cups) misshapen, underripe, or otherwise unattractive berries, halving those that are large. In a food processor, process berries to smooth puree, 20-30 seconds, scraping down bowl as needed. You should have about 3/4 cup puree.
  2. Whisk sugar, cornstarch, Sure-Jell, and salt in a medium saucepan. Stir in berry puree, making sure to scrape corners of pan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly with heatproof rubber spatula, and bring to a full boil. Boil, scraping bottom and sides of pan to prevent scorching, for 2 minutes to ensure that cornstarch is fully cooked (mixture will appear frothy when it first reaches boil, then will darken and thicken with further cooking). Transfer to large bowl and stir in lemon juice. Let cool to room temperature.
  3. Meanwhile, pick over remaining berries and measure out 2 pounds of the most attractive ones; halve only extra-large berries. Add berries to bowl with glaze and fold gently with rubber spatula until berries are evenly coated. Scoop berries into pie shell, piling into a mound. If any cut sides face up on top, turn them face down. If necessary, rearrange berries so that holes are filled and mound looks attractive. Refrigerate pie until chilled, about 2 hours. Serve within 5 hours of chilling.

Whipped Cream

  1. Just before serving, beat cream and sugar with electric mixer on low speed until bubbles from, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium; continue beating until beaters leave trail, about 30 additional seconds. Increase speed to high; continue beating until cream is smooth, thick, and nearly doubled in volume and forms soft peaks, 30-60 seconds.

SOURCE: Cooks Illustrated (May/June 2011 issue); crust adapted from both Cooks Illustrated and Annie’s Eats

Pecan Tarts (also known as Pecan Tassies)

Back in December, one of my students gave me a container of homemade pecan tarts (also known as pecan tassies). I had never tasted pecan pie prior to that. Boy, have I been missing out on a tasty little treat!

They were ultra-delicious chewy little packages of sweetness and nuttiness wrapped in a flaky mini pie shell–cute to boot as well as yummy. I could hardly wait for my precious two-week winter break from teaching to end so I could ask her for the recipe. However, her family declined to share it because it’s a family “secret” recipe. Bummed, I scoured the internet for other sources of this delight. No shortage of recipes on the internet–whew!

This morning I developed an intense craving for these mini cuties, so I caved and departed from my healthful eating since the new year (okay, that’s a lie; I broke that path a week or two ago).

The tart shell includes cream cheese, imparting a tangy flavor to the crust. The filling uses brown sugar, so it adds a caramel-y flavor. I also used vanilla bean paste to deepen the sweetness of the vanilla taste. And I toasted the pecans to enhance the earthy nuttiness. Oh my…these little tarts explode with scrumptiousness!

The wooden gadget is a tart tamper.

You need a mini muffin pan to make these. And this tool called a tart tamper makes forming the tart shells a breeze! I had a heck of a time finding the tamper, though. I didn’t find it at several local small kitchen shops nor did I find it at Sur La Table or Bed Bath and Beyond. I finally found it at a small cake shop near my home, Classic Cake Decorations, and amazon.com sells them, too. It’s a handy dandy purchase, and now I want to make other mini tarts just because they are cute and this tool is fun to use! Oh, the small cookie dough scoop allows for uniform size of the dough balls, so that is handy, too.

Pecan Tarts 

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INGREDIENTS

Cream Cheese Pastry

  • 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks), room temperature
  • 1 2/3 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

Pecan Filling

  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 tbsp. butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla or vanilla bean paste
  • dash of salt
  • 2/3 cup coarsely chopped pecans

DIRECTIONS

  1. Cream Cheese Pastry: Allow cream cheese and butter to soften to room temperature. To speed this process, cut cream cheese and butter into small chunks.
  2. Blend cream cheese and butter (use wooden spoon, pastry blender, or mixer).
  3. Sift then measure flour; add salt and whisk to blend. Stir into cream cheese and butter until flour is absorbed.
  4. Form 1-inch balls (I used my small cookie dough scoop) and place into ungreased muffin tins. Chill for 30 minutes.
  5. For pecan filling, toast chopped pecans by spreading them on a jellyroll pan and baking in a 350 degree F oven for 5 minutes. Beat together egg, sugar, butter, vanilla, and salt until smooth. Add toasted pecans.
  6. Tart shells: Remove pastry from refrigerator. Form shells by using tart tamper : Dip tamper into flour to prevent it from sticking to dough. Press tamper into the dough ball in each muffin well until the dough rises up the sides and to the top (allow dough to reach top; otherwise, pecan filling may cause tart to stick to pan). If you don’t have a tamper, press dough with thumb around the edges and bottom until muffin well is evenly covered.
  7. Bake in 325 degree F oven for 25 minutes or until filling is set. Place on cooling rack for 5 minutes then remove from pan to further cool.

Yield: 30 tarts

SOURCE: adapted from My Adventures in the Country