Sweet Pastry Crust.
Place the butter in your mixer and beat
until softened. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Gradually add the
egg, beating just until incorporated. Add the flour mixture all at once and mix just until
it forms a ball. Flatten dough into disk,
cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 20 minutes or until firm.
Once the pastry has
chilled sufficiently, remove from refrigerator and place on a lightly floured
surface. Roll the pastry into a 13 inch (32 cm) circle. To
prevent the pastry from sticking to the counter and to ensure uniform thickness,
keep lifting up and turning the pastry a quarter turn as you roll.
When the pastry is rolled to
the desired size, lightly roll pastry around your
rolling pin, dusting off any excess flour as you roll. Unroll onto the top of
your tart pan.
Never pull the pastry or you will get shrinkage. Gently lay in pan and lightly press
the pastry onto bottom and up the sides of the pan. Roll
your rolling pin over top of pan to get rid of excess pastry. Prick bottom of dough (this will prevent the
dough from puffing up as it bakes). Cover and refrigerate for 20
minutes to chill the butter and to rest the gluten.
To prebake the tart shell: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees
C) and place rack in center of oven. Line the unbaked pastry shell with parchment paper
or aluminum foil. Fill tart pan with pie weights or beans, making sure the
weights are to the top of the pan and evenly distributed over the entire
surface. Bake crust for 20 to 25 minutes or until the crust is dry and lightly
browned. Remove weights and cool crust on wire rack.
oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Place
pecans on a baking sheet and bake for 6-8 minutes or until lightly browned and
fragrant. Cool on a wire rack and then chop coarsely.
In a food processor or electric mixer place the
cream cheese and sugar and process until smooth. Add eggs, one
at a time, and process until thoroughly combined. Add vanilla extract and
half-and-half cream and
process until well blended and smooth.
the chopped pecans over the bottom of the pre baked tart shell.
pour the filling over the pecans and bake for approximately 25 minutes or until
filling is set. Transfer tart to wire rack to cool. Serve warm
with softly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, if desired. Store leftovers in
Makes 1 - 9 inch
(23 cm) tart