Traditional Southern Pecan Tart Recipe! (2024)

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by Jennifer 35 Comments

This time of year makes me think of my mother. One reason is because November is the month she passed away. This November marks the 5-year mark of her passing. The other reason is because right before Thanksgiving, my mother would make her HeavenlyPecan Tarts.

Traditional Southern Pecan Tart Recipe! (1)

My mother was a true southern belle – she was born and raised in Mississippi, and everyone loved her charming southern accent. I am not sure where she got this recipe (possibly it was passed down from her mother), but I just had to share it with you. My brother, dad, friends and relatives adored these, and she always had an audience every time she would make them. Luckily I paid attention…this is my first time making them on my own. I think she would be proud.

Pie Crust:
*This recipe makes 2 9″ Shells or 12 tarts (muffin/cupcake size pan). NOTE: I would double pie dough to make 24 tarts. The below filling recipe makes more than you’ll need for just 12 tarts.

2 cups flour
2/3 cup Crisco + 2 tbsp. (chilled)
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup water

Make sure Crisco is very cold. I put mine in the freezer for a couple of hours first. Put dry ingredients together, then cut in shortening to gravel size. Use fork, and add water JUST until dough holds together.

Traditional Southern Pecan Tart Recipe! (2)

Pecan Tart Filling:

3 eggs
1 cup Light Karo syrup
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup melted butter
1 tsp. vanilla

First mix eggs in large bowl, then combine next ingredients (except pecans) and mix well. Put a walnut sized ball of dough in each cup of the muffin tin. Press the middle and up the sides until dough is even. Use a fork to press down around the edges

Traditional Southern Pecan Tart Recipe! (3)Fill each tart with filling, about 3/4 the way up to edge.Put a pecan half on top of each and bake on middle rack of oven at 350 degrees for approx. 40 minutes.Remove from oven and let cool for an hour or so.

These freeze very well! If you decide to freeze some or all of thes Heavenly Southern Pecan Tarts, place them in a zip-lock plastic freezer bag. Pull them out to defrost about 2 hours before serving. They can also be warmed up in the microwave for about 20 seconds (be careful – filling might be hot!).

Traditional Southern Pecan Tart Recipe! (4)

Grab a glass of milk and enjoy! If you decide to try making these Heavenly Pecan Tarts, I would love to hear your thoughts!

Traditional Southern Pecan Tart Recipe! (5)

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About Jennifer

Jennifer was the founding Eighty MPH Mom and previous owner/editor-in-chief of Eighty MPH Mom, a family-friendly blog. She built a great following and we hope to continue her legacy. Please continue to enjoy her posts.

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Reader Interactions


  1. angie

    OMG i want to reach into the screen and eat these!!!!! yummers!!!


  2. Zippy Sandler

    What Angie said….


  3. Elena

    It looks so delicious! Thank you for the recipe!


  4. Just Coupons

    These looks delicious. I am the only one in the house who loves pecan pie so I usually don’t go through the trouble of making or buying a whole pie…. BUT this is a great alternative! Thanks 🙂


    • Jennifer-admin

      LOL too funny…my husband doesn’t like them/it either. My kids will eat them, but they aren’t their favorite. More for me – that can be a good or bad thing 🙂


  5. ohkeeka [The Type A Housewife/Dealectica]

    These DO look heavenly–yum! Thanks for sharing. 🙂


  6. Beeb Ashcroft

    I am drooling here! Looks divine!


  7. Elizabeth K

    These sound wonderful. We have a goodie day coming up at work and I think I will try this recipe.


  8. Tricia Nightowlmama

    these are my absolute favorites! I’m going to have to make them … u know for anyone else who wants them cause I’m on a diet lol


  9. JamericanSpice

    Gosh I love pecan pie anything!


  10. Nichol

    Those look delish, I bet your mom would have been proud.


  11. BusyWorkingMama

    Those are so cute! I made a pecan pie this weekend using my aunt-in-law’s mother’s recipe and it turned out wonderful. These would be more fun and portable, though!


    • Jennifer-admin

      They really are portable – and so much easier than cutting a pecan pie!


  12. ANN*

    Oh my I love pecan pie and this would be a great recipe to make then I wouldnt be tempted to eat a whole piece of pie.
    amhengst at verizon dot net


  13. Brandy

    These look and sound so yummy!


  14. Eileen

    after making pies for Thanksgiving it must have started the ball rolling for holiday baking…my husband picked up two bags of pecans…hint, hint Pecan PIE! but these look so much more fun. I am wondering if you can roll out and use a cup or bisquit cutter to make circles to place in the tin. Might be fun for kids and make it faster? AND what about freezing those crusts for easy baking in the future? (I know pecan pie does not freeze, but I only mean the crust). wow, I am now SO hungry and want to try these today!


  15. Rosey

    I always thought Pecan Pie would be hard to make…I’m not sure why, so I never opted to do it (you can tell from that disclosure that I’m not a genius in the kitchen, though I do like to cook and bake). This, however, makes me really want to give it a whirl. I love Pecan Pie and these tarts look even better. I don’t think any of my kids have ever tried it (*gasp*) so this will be neat for them too. I’m thinking we’ll give it a try when we do our big cookie day…where we all get together and bake and decorate for hours. We love that tradition and these will be a welcome treat. Thanks for the share.


  16. Amy Orvin

    sounds really good, thanks for the receipe.


  17. Christian Nunez

    I’d love to be your taste tester! hahah, this is a great idea for the holidays.


  18. momznite

    Sharing this recipe is a nice way to honor your mom’s memory.


  19. Vanessa co*ker

    I love baking cookies and pies! But have never tried baking tarts. These look so good too, I think my husband would love them!!!! I must try it 🙂


  20. R Hicks

    This looks really tasty. With pecans as high as they are, it is almost a delicacy


  21. Donna B.

    YUM! I love how the portion control is built-in 🙂 I’ve been doing a lot of things in mini muffin cups lately, can’t wait to try this!


  22. Betty Baez

    oh my! this looks so delicious you made my stomach rumble


  23. polly

    they look delicious…my mom made a wonderful pecan pie..i sure miss those pies & my mom!.you mom would be very proud jennifer!


  24. Melinda

    these look sooooooo good!


  25. Anita

    Always looking for good recipes to try-these look ideal to take to a Christmas get together.


  26. Marysa N.

    These look great! My aunt makes the best pecan pie, so I would love to make my own. These are so cute and it doesn’t look too involved either. Plus they are a great portion size, or great for kids.


  27. Sky

    Yum! My hubs love pecans…once my kitchen is completed I’ll have to make him some of these!


  28. Loveforfood

    that sure looks good.. especially top with pecans.


  29. Amy Orvin

    Thanks so much for receipe. I will make this one day soon.


  30. RecipeNewZ (@RecipeNewZ)

    Lovely pecan tarts! I have been searching for a perfect pecan pie recipe for years, and now maybe this is it :-). If these cute tarts taste as good as they look they must be delicious! I am so glad I found your blog!
    And now that I am here, I would like to invite you to try out a new recipe sharing website . We already have hundreds of food bloggers on board. You submit a photo of your recipe, we publish it within minutes and link back to your blog. It would be great to see your wonderful recipes there too.


  31. Cindy B

    These are something that my sweet husband would love. I may make them for Thanksgiving!


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Traditional Southern Pecan Tart Recipe! (2024)


What is a substitute for Karo syrup in pecan pie? ›

For every one cup of corn syrup that the recipe calls for, use one cup of maple syrup instead. The great thing about maple syrup is it has some nutritional benefits. Maple syrup contains antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, such as Vitamin B6, calcium, niacin, potassium, and riboflavin.

How do you keep pecan pie from being runny? ›

To avoid this, always start your pecan pie at a high enough temperature, such as 425 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. You can lower the temperature to around 350 degrees Fahrenheit after the first half-hour, or 30 minutes. It is done when you notice the pecan filling is bubbling and the pie is browned.

Is pecan pie a southern thing? ›

It is commonly served at holiday meals in the United States and is considered a specialty of Southern U.S. origin. Most pecan pie recipes include salt and vanilla as flavorings.

Is it better to use light or dark corn syrup in pecan pie? ›

Light and dark corn syrup can be used interchangeably in almost every instance, with slight flavor variances. In a pecan pie, for example, light corn syrup will contribute sweetness and a hint of vanilla, but that's about it. Dark corn syrup, in addition to sweetness, will add color and a more robust, toasty flavor.

Why is my Karo pecan pie runny? ›

A pecan pie is essentially a custard pie, and a liquid center is almost always the result of underbaking. The Karo Classic Pecan Pie recipe calls for baking the pie for 60 to 70 minutes at 350 degrees. In some ovens, however, the pie can take 75 minutes or more.

What is the difference between a pecan tart and a butter tart? ›

The butter tart is different from pecan pie in that it has a "runnier" filling due to the omission of corn starch. Often raisins, walnuts, or pecans are added to the traditional butter tart, although the acceptability of such additions is a matter of national debate.

Should pecan tarts be refrigerated? ›

According to the USDA, any pie that is egg-rich (such as pecan, pumpkin, lemon meringue, and any custard pie) must be kept in the fridge after baking and cooling. The exception here is some store-bought pies, which may contain preservatives that will allow the pies to be left unrefrigerated.

Do pecan tarts go bad? ›

The USDA says that pecan pies will stay fresh for about three to four days in the refrigerator. Some store-bought pies may have preservatives that extend how long they last, so you can ask your local bakery for their recommendation. But three to four days in the fridge is a good general rule to follow.

Can pecan pie sit out overnight? ›

Do I need to refrigerate pecan pie? According to the USDA, homemade egg-rich pies, including pecan pie, must be refrigerated after cooking and cooling to prevent the growth of bacteria. They recommend chilling pies promptly, and as a general rule, not leaving food at room temperature for more than two hours.

Can you overcook a pecan pie? ›

The edges should be set but the center should wobble a bit, kind of like gelatin. Cook pecan pie too much and it'll crack and be dry. Underbake it and it will be watery and runny. You want to cook pecan pie to an internal temperature of 200°F.

Should pecan pie jiggle when done? ›

If the filling is flowing in a wavy movement from the center to the edge, your pie isn't set quite yet. Wait for the moment when the center of your pecan pie gives you just a little jiggle, like the stable but slightly wiggly movement of Jell-O when you give it a gentle shake.

What do Southerners call pecans? ›

Here is a list based on popularity: pee-KAHN — most dominant phrasing nationwide. PEE-can — most dominant on the east coast. pick-AHN — popular in areas like Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Mississippi.

What is Louisiana State pie? ›

The official state meat pie shall be the Natchitoches Meat Pie. Its use on official documents of the state and with the insignia of the state is hereby authorized.

How does a Southerner say pecan? ›

Here are the most common ways pecan is pronounced: pee-KAHN: This seems to be the most popular pecan pronunciation nationwide. puh-CON (or puh-KAHN): A variation on the above pronunciation that's used in southern areas of the U.S. like Alabama and the Carolinas.

What can I use instead of Karo syrup? ›

Substitutes for Corn Syrup
  • Brown Rice Syrup. Brown rice syrup is one of the best substitutes for corn syrup. ...
  • Maple Syrup. Maple syrup is another corn syrup substitute you can try out and is most likely in your pantry right now. ...
  • Agave. ...
  • Simple Syrup. ...
  • Tapioca Syrup. ...
  • Honey. ...
  • Golden Syrup. ...
  • Black Treacle.

Can I substitute honey for corn syrup in a pie? ›

Each one varies in taste as well. Some will have a floral flavor while others will have a more bold taste. When substituting honey for corn syrup, using equivalent amounts is recommended. For every one cup of corn syrup, use one cup of honey instead.

Is light corn syrup the same as Karo? ›

The clear Karo® Corn Syrup has been called “light” since the 1940s, before “light” became a popular description for reduced-calorie products. The term “light” in this case refers to the color, and not the number of calories. Consumers may also refer to light corn syrup as “white” corn syrup.

What can I use instead of dark brown Karo syrup? ›

Molasses can be used in place of dark corn syrup in an equal amount when making baked goods, glazes, and sauces. Alternatively, you can combine 1 part molasses with 3 parts light corn syrup to match the color, flavor, and consistency of dark corn syrup more closely.


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