Mini Pecan Pies with Sweet Tea Caramel Sauce

I’ve always wanted to try this recipe, so when my mother sent me a bag of pecans, I was so happy..finally I will be able to make pecan pies..I got a kilo of pecans and this is just the first of few pecan (pie) recipes I wanted to try. I did this first because I love mini pies, they’re cute and I can eat it by hand, you can control the portion that you eat; no slicing which means no plating necessary, hence less dishes to wash ( not with these though because it has sweet tea sauce and I serve two of them with ice cream for the kids, but it’s okay).

This recipe is from Tyler Florence, this is quite easy to make and quick too. I’ve said it many times before, I love simple doable recipes. The only thing I changed in the recipe was using honey instead of dark corn syrup, other than that I didn’t do anything else, I followed the recipe exactly but I only managed to make 10 mini pies instead of 12 as stated in the recipe.

bake until set, cool for a while and take out of the pan
I like mine without ice cream

Recipe courtesy Tyler Florence and Food Network, 2007

2 tablespoons finely ground pecans
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
Pinch salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small chunks
1 egg white, chilled
2 tablespoons ice water, only if needed
For the filling:

1 cup pecan halves
2 eggs
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 stick unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup dark corn syrup ( I used honey)
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the sweet tea caramel sauce:
6 earl grey tea bags
2 cups water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 quart vanilla bean ice cream

For the pie pastry dough:

In a food processor combine the ground pecans, flour, salt, and sugar. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Pour in the egg white and blend it in to bind the dough until it holds together without being too wet or sticky. Squeeze a small amount of dough together, if it is crumbly, add the ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Lightly coat a 12-cup muffin tray with nonstick spray. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to about a 2 foot square, then use a small bowl 3-inches in diameter or a large 3-inch ring mold as a guide to cut out circles. They should be slightly larger in diameter than the muffin tin hole, so when pressed in, the edges come half-way up the sides of the tin.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

For the filling:
In a large mixing bowl, mix the eggs until frothy then blend in sugars. Stir in the melted butter, vanilla, syrup and salt until well blended. Arrange the pecans on the bottoms of the tart shells. Pour in the filling to fill the shells almost to the top. Bake until the filling is set and slightly puffed, about 25 to 30 minutes. Test for doneness by sticking a thin knife in the center of the pie, if it comes out pretty clean, you’re good to go. Transfer the pies to a rack and cool.

While the pie is baking, make the Sweet Tea Caramel Sauce. Begin my making the tea. Bring 2 cups of cold water to a boil in a large heavy saucepan. Add the tea bags, cover and let steep for 20 minutes. Remove the tea bags (squeeze them out) and then return to a simmer until it has reduced by half – so you have 1 cup of really strong tea remaining. Add the 1/2 cup of sugar to the saucepan and continue to simmer over medium heat.

Cook, swirling the pot around, until the mixture is a deep caramel color and looks like syrup, about 10 minutes. Carefully pour in the cream, be careful as it will bubble up, and continue to cook for 1 more minute. Serve with individual pecan pies and a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.

Thanks for reading and Have a nice day!

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