I always seem to be on the fence about Pecan tarts. I have had them when they were truly sublime, and then other times they are heavy and overly sweet to the point where they make you teeth hurt. I found this tart to be very pleasing. The use of the muscavado sugar in the filling and the turbinado sugar in the pastry crust seem to give it an overall smoothness and mellowness which takes away that intense sweetness.
This recipe is very straight forward. The crust can be made in either the food processor, stand mixer or by hand. In the past I have shied away from making pastry in the food processor (because I have a tendency to over process) and usually preferred to make pastry by hand. This time I threw caution to the wind and did it in the food processor. By applying a bit of restraint, pulsing carefully and actually using the pastry blade that came with my processor I found that I can turn out a very nice pastry in the processor.
This is usually the point where I would start complaining about gimmicky techniques in the recipe. After some discussions with Rose about these things, I have found out that she does tend to develop her recipes with beginners in mind and all these things are meant to help beginners along. When I read through the instructions for rolling and getting the pastry into the tart pan I thought, there is no way I am doing all these steps. I bit my tongue and decided to give it a try. I do admit here that I modified the instructions a bit as I felt that I had enough experience with pastry to not have to do all these steps. I didn’t bother with rolling the dough between the sheets of plastic wrap. I just rolled it out on my pastry cloth and then instead of inverting the plastic onto the cake pan I just rolled the pastry around my pin as I usually do and draped it over the pan. I set the tart pan bottom on the dough, put on the pan sides and flipped it over. It all went very smoothly and I had no problems with it. I found that I really did like the idea of cutting out the dough circle first. It was a simple enough step and it did help to avoid all the excess dough that you have to trim off at the end. By adapting a few of these steps I now have a new method of getting pastry dough into the pan.
The filling is very simple, just cook the sugar, butter, egg yolks, golden syrup and salt until thickened, strain, stir in the vanilla and gently pour over the pecans in the pre-baked tart shell and bake. I am not sure whether the frozen aspect had all that much effect on the taste or texture because by the time I got everyone to settle down and come to the table to try it, it wasn’t exactly frozen anymore. However, we all liked it very much.