Take a classic Thanksgiving dessert and make it even more fun with a batch of Mini Pecan Tarts! These adorable little two-bite mini pecan pies are made with no corn syrup and are baked up in crispy phyllo shells in about 30 minutes, making them a fabulous, last-minute, low-sugar holiday treat!
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Alright, friends, there goes October.
Now that we’re done with spooks and candy, can we talk about the most wonderful time of the year?
Christmas is most definitely my favorite holiday, with Thanksgiving being an arguable second. What’s not to love about indulgent comfort food, jolly music, and good times with friends and family?
One thing that makes for an even happier holiday season is pie – these Mini Pecan Pie Tarts will definitely work on any dessert table!
This page includes step by step instructions, as well as tips and notes. If you’d like to skip all that, feel free to scroll down to the full, printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.
Pecan pie is (another) one of those things I didn’t appreciate until adulthood.
It was more about apple, chocolate cream, and pumpkin for me, even as a born-and-raised Southerner (and yeah – Florida is actually considered “the South” even if in name only). I couldn’t appreciate the goo of the filling underneath the crunchy pecan layer, even if my slice had a scoop of ice cream on top.
Honestly, given the choice between cake and pie, the latter was a hard pass.
Nowadays, I do enjoy a classic pecan pie for Thanksgiving, but I’m pretty sure I could enjoy these cute little tarts any time of the year.
A classic pecan pie recipe includes:
- Sugar (usually a mix of brown sugar and corn syrup – light and/or dark)
- Pie crust – in this case, phyllo dough.
Every pecan pie recipe is different, with some using a lot of pecans and some using less to highlight the “goo” of the pie.
These mini pecan pies lean more towards the nutty side. The phyllo shells are a great vessel for this dessert, but they’re pretty delicate and can only hold so much filling.
If you’re a nutty pecan pie lover, this recipe is for you!
I normally enjoy my holiday treats sweet, and in sliced or squared (pecan pie bars, anyone?) form. But for these cute little bites, I opted to make them without corn syrup. I used golden syrup instead, which is made from cane sugar versus corn.
I also added some bourbon for flavor (the alcohol bakes out) and a little orange zest to brighten up the richness of the tarts.
These additions made for a very authentic, lower-sugar treat that Abe couldn’t stop nibbling on!
How to make mini pecan tarts:
These cute mini pecan pies are seriously one of the easiest holiday desserts ever! They require so little prep and bake so quickly, even if you run out (and you will), you won’t be hassled if you have to make more!
- First, toast your pecans! 350 degrees for about 10 minutes will do. Even though the tarts get baked all together, toasted pecans add a wonderfully deep nutty flavor to these tarts.
- While the pecans are toasting, set your phyllo shells in the cavities of your muffin tins. Alternatively, you can bake them side-by-side on flat baking sheets, but you may lose the cup shape a bit as the filling flattens them out a bit. (I speak from experience here.)
- Next, combine brown sugar, golden syrup, melted butter, bourbon, orange zest, vanilla, and salt in a large bowl. Add two Eggland’s Best eggs and whisk everything together until it’s well combined. Then, fold in your freshly toasted pecans.
- Now, divide the mixture evenly between all of the phyllo shells. A small cookie scoop filled 1/2-3/4 of the way should be a perfect amount, or aim for a little over a tablespoon. If there is any left over, add it to the less-filled shells.
- Bake the mini pies at 350 degrees F for 10-15 minutes, or until shells begin to brown. Allow them to cool a bit before serving, as the shells crisp up nicely as they cool.
Do these mini pecan tarts have to be refrigerated?
You wouldn’t think so, since they’re basically just crispy shell and nuts. However, due to the addition of Eggland’s Best eggs, these little cuties should be refrigerated in a covered container within two hours of baking.
Arguably, homemade pecan pies can be left out overnight thanks to all the extra sugars, but I always like to err on the side of caution. Foodborne illness is no joke and the misery isn’t worth the convenience of leaving the tarts on the counter for easy grabbing.
Can you freeze pecan pie tarts?
These mini pies freeze like a dream! You can freeze them either before OR after baking, making prep for a big party a breeze.
To freeze before baking, place phyllo shells side by side in a sealable container or on a baking sheet (one that will fit in the freezer!) Portion out filling in each shell, then cover tightly and freeze until ready to bake. You can bake these direct from the freezer, adding an additional 5 minutes to the bake time to compensate for the frozen bites.
To freeze after baking, cool tarts completely and store in a sealable container. When ready to serve, remove from freezer at least 1 hour before eating. You can also speed up the thawing process by popping them back into the oven for a few minutes to crisp up the shells.
HELPFUL KITCHEN TOOLS FOR MAKING MINI PECAN PIES:
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Mini Pecan Tarts
- 1 cup pecans chopped
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup golden syrup or cane syrup
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted & cooled
- 2 tablespoon bourbon optional
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon orange zest
- Pinch kosher salt
- 2 large eggs
- 30 Mini Phyllo Shells
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet 8-10 minutes until toasted and fragrant.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except pecans. Whisk well, then fold in chopped pecans.
- Arrange phyllo shells in a mini muffin pan or baking sheet. Fill shells with one heaping teaspoon of pecan mixture, dividing any additional mixture evenly.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes. Allow to cool before serving with whipped cream, if desired.