Friday, October 18, 2013

Paleo Pecan Pie Tartlets

Newton's first law teaches us that an object in motion will stay in motion until pushed or pulled by an outside force.

Well, I guess you could say nothing's been pushing or pulling, because tartlets remain on a roll around here.

With fall breezes blowing all around and what I consider a pretty decent nod to pumpkin pie in the last post, a pecan-pie-inspired tartlet was the natural next step.

The crust is cashew-heavy to achieve the rich, buttery quality of a traditional pecan pie, while the filling employs dates for their sticky texture and super-sweet, brown-sugar-like flavor. Vanilla is a new addition in this tartlet, and of course, pecans are the star.

I played around with configurations of pecan halves and pieces (from purely pieces to three-to-six halves with pieces to fill the gaps), and I think I like this look the best:

If, however, you plan to cut the tartlets before serving, you may wish to go with purely pieces for easier slicing.

Whatever aesthetic you choose, I hope these tartlets make you fall for fall over and over again.

Pecan Pie Tartlets

for the crust:
1/4 cup chopped, raw, unsalted pecans
2/3 cup raw, unsalted cashews
2 T coconut palm sugar
1/4 tsp fine salt
2 T coconut oil

for the filling:
1/4 cup chopped, raw, unsalted pecans
20 pitted dates
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp fine salt
3 T coconut oil
3 T water

for garnish:
1 cup raw, unsalted pecan halves (and/or pieces)

Place muffin liners in each of six large muffin cups. I use regular-sized muffin liners in large cups--the larger cups allow the liners to lay out a little wider. If you do not have a large-cup muffin pan, just use six cups in a standard-size muffin pan.

Place all the crust ingredients except for the coconut oil in the food processor and pulse until the pieces are almost uniform in size and the mixture resembles very coarse sand. If you have a food processor with nested work bowls, use the smaller of the two.

 Add the 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and pulse until the mixture resembles moist sand. Divide the mixture evenly among the six prepared muffin cups, firmly pressing the mixture into the bottoms and up the sides to form mini tart shells. 

 Chill the crusts in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.

Rinse out and pat dry the food processor bowl, blade, and lid. Add all the filling ingredients to the processor bowl except for the water. Turn the processor on, and pour one tablespoon of water into the shoot on the top (the insert should be in place so that the water slowly drips out of the hole in the bottom). When the water appears to be gone, turn off the processor and scrape down the sides and lid. Repeat this process with each of the remaining tablespoons of water. Continue to process the mixture until it is completely smooth.

Use a greased spoon (just dip it quickly in liquid coconut oil and shake off the excess) to evenly divide the filling among the prepared crusts and to gently spread it out in each one--the filling will be very dense and sticky.

Arrange pecan halves and/or pieces on each tartlet, pressing gently to adhere the pecans to the filling. 

Chill the tartlets in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, right up until serving. 

The tartlets can be stored in airtight containers in the fridge for up to one week. Makes six tartlets.

Thanks for reading! Here's to Being the Secret Ingredient in your life.

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