This modern Pecan Tart Recipe with Vanilla Cream is a stunning dessert. Less traditional than the classic American Pecan pie but still with a lot of flavors, this tart features a sweet pastry crust, a pecan filling, whole pecan nuts, a creamy caramel, and a delicate diplomat cream.
This pecan tart recipe is a cross-over between American and French patisseries. The cozy flavor from the pecan pie and the elegance of French design make this showstopper dessert pure heaven.
This pecan tart recipe is easier than it might lead to think. Each layer is approachable for a home baker; it just requires a bit of organization. You can prepare this tart over two days, so you have less to stress about on the day you plan to serve it.
Why you’ll love this Pecan Tart Recipe with Vanilla Cream
- This pecan pie tart is made completely from scratch
- Perfect for the Holidays, it will become one of your favorite Thanksgiving pies.
- Stunning but approachable for the home baker
- Easy to make-ahead
- A new recipe to enjoy pecan desserts
Note about the Ingredients
- For the tart case, check my Sweet Pastry Recipe for all the details.
- The Pecan filling is made with butter, sugar, eggs, and ground pecans (whole pecans, grounded in the food processor). The filling is topped with whole pecans.
- Check my Caramel Recipe for full details. It requires glucose to keep this creamy texture and prevent it from getting hard when set. You can use store-bought caramel if you want to cut the preparation time. Make sure to use a smooth and creamy caramel spread, not a runny sauce. The best I know is the caramel spread from Bonne Maman.
- Vanilla Cream: it’s a Diplomat Cream that requires 2 steps. The first step is a vanilla pastry cream with added gelatine. Then, when the pastry cream is set, we add whipped cream. Not all gelatines are equal. Check your gelatine strength and adapt if needed. Check my blackberry tart recipe, section “How to adjust the quantity of gelatine?” you will get all the information about gelatine.
Full instructions are at the bottom of the page. Get all measurements, ingredients, and instructions in the printable version at the end of this post.
- Stand mixer with the paddle attachment but not compulsory. It just makes things easier to make the sweet pastry.
- Pie weights
- Food processor to ground the whole pecans.
- Electric mixer for the pecan filling and whipped cream.
- Tart ring: 8in (20cm). I use a perforated ring, but feel free to use a fluted tart pan. Prefer a loose base tart tin, if you be easier to remove.
- OPTIONAL: Perforated silicone sheet and a perforated aluminum sheet pan. The tart shell will be perfectly baked without bubbling because the steam can escape. Otherwise use a baking sheet and parchment paper.
I prepare the pecan tart over 3 days. There’s a lot going on but with simple steps. Here’s my organization:
Pastry shell: I prepare the dough and line a tart ring, then wrap it with cling film and let it chill in the fridge for 2 days.
Salted caramel sauce: You will need less than half of the batch for this tart. Once cooled, place it in the fridge. You can store it for up to 4 weeks, so you can make it ahead of time if you wish.
Vanilla Cream: I prepare the first part of, which means the vanilla pastry cream with added gelatine. Once done, cover with cling film, make sure to touch the surface, and place in the fridge overnight.
Bake, pecan filling, 2nd part of the Diplomat cream (=whipped cream), and assembly.
Note: you can also prepare and assemble the entire pecan tart recipe a day before you plan to serve it and let it in the fridge overnight under a cake dome.
Check my video for the assembly. The process is sped up to keep the video short.
Can you freeze the tart?
Unfortunately, one is finished, no, you can’t freeze this pecan tart recipe. The diplomat cream will lose its texture.
Can I make ahead of time this pecan tart recipe?
I prepare this pecan tart recipe over 2 days. Check the section just above if you haven’t read it.
- The dough for the tart shell can be frozen; check the sweet pastry recipe for details. Freeze and defrost when ready to prepare the tart. Or you can prepare the dough 1 or 2 days before and let it chill overnight.
- The caramel sauce can be made ahead of time, until 4 weeks before.
- The day before, you can prepare the vanilla pastry cream (part of the diplomat cream), let it chill in the fridge overnight, and finish the diplomat cream when ready to assemble.
How to store it?
The pecan tart is best when serving the day, it’s made. Any leftovers: under a cake dome or in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2-3 days.
- Read the entire pecan tart recipe before starting.
- Check the following blog post: sweet pastry, caramel sauce, vanilla pastry cream. There are full of tips and very detailed. Note: The quantity for the vanilla pastry cream has been adapted for this recipe.
- For decoration, feel free to decorate as you desire. If you like the same design as me, I use 2 different pipping tips and pipe randomly: a large round tip and an open star tip.
- Check my video just above. I recorded the assembly part to give you an idea.