Shortbread Tarts with Spiced Apples and Candied Pecans

October 15, 2015
2 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Makes 12 tarts
Author Notes

I developed this recipe with Joanie Simon as a part of the Lundberg Family Farms Harvest Tour. As with any recipe, these shortbread tarts were a process of trial and error. What at first was going to be a stone-fruit cobbler, morphed into a Napoleon, and eventually became a tart once we discovered we had a shortbread recipe in mind and a muffin tin. Lundberg Family Farms Sweet Dreams dark chocolate-dipped rice cakes added an extra crunch to the standard shortbread crust, and the apples came together easily in a sauté pan with warm spices and a touch of brown rice syrup. We utilized rice syrup again to candy the nuts that finish off these tarts. Seasonal fruit can be substituted for the apples, whether it’s rhubarb in spring or peaches and blueberries in the summer. Serve with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream. — Kimberly Henricks

What You'll Need
  • For the candied pecans
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brown rice syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 2 cups chopped pecan
  • For the shortbread tarts
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 8 small, or 4 large, dark chocolate-dipped rice cakes, divided
  • 5 apples, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon brown rice syrup
  • 1 teaspoon dried cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon dried ginger
  • Candied pecans, for garnish
  • Vanilla ice cream, for serving
  1. For the candied pecans
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the brown sugar, brown rice syrup, salt, cinnamon, and ginger. Stir together, then cook until bubbly, stirring constantly.
  4. Add the pecans, then cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly, until pecans are well coated. Spread the mixture onto the parchment-lined baking sheet.
  5. Bake the pecans 6 to 8 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
  1. For the shortbread tarts
  2. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the flour and sugar and then cut in the butter until the dough is crumbly, but holds.
  4. Roughly chop four rice cakes; mix into to the dough.
  5. In a 12-cup muffin tin, evenly shape the dough in each tin to form the tarts; place the tin in the freezer for 15 minutes.
  6. In a large saucepan, combine the apples, brown rice syrup, cinnamon, and ginger, then cook together until the juice from the apples is just released.
  7. Remove the muffin tin from freezer; divide the spiced apples evenly among the tarts.
  8. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown, rotating the pan in the oven every 10 minutes to ensure even baking.
  9. While the tarts are baking, finely chop the remaining rice cakes to make a crumble for garnish.
  10. Remove the baked tarts from the oven. Allow to cool in the muffin tin for a few minutes, then run a knife around each tart to remove from pan.
  11. To serve, garnish a tart with the crumble, then top with some candied pecans and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

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