We always recommend spelt as a pastry flour because of its natural sweetness and low gluten content, forming tender pastries. The butter in this recipe really comes through, complimenting the flavour of the spelt and toasted pecan.
Makes 12 tarts
220g (1 1/3 cup) whole grain Spelt flour
120g (1/2 cup) butter, chilled
60g (4 Tbsp) ice water
1tsp apple cider vinegar
2 large eggs
80g (1/3 cup) butter, softened
165g (3/4 cup) packed brown sugar
60g (1/4 cup) half and half cream
1tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped, if desired
12 pecans, toasted, whole
Measure flour into a medium sized bowl. Using a pastry cutter, or your hands, cut or rub the chilled butter into the flour until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add the apple cider vinegar to the ice water. Gradually add the water/vinegar to the flour mixture until the dough just comes together. Gather the dough together into a ball, flatten into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for about 1 hour.
After the dough has chilled, remove from the plastic wrap and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll out to 1/8" thickness and cut into 12 - 4" rounds, using a cooker cutter or large glass. Place the rounds in a muffin tin, gently pressing the rounds to the bottom of the tin, being careful not to tear the dough. Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes while preparing the filling.
Preheat the oven to 375F.
In a medium sized saucepan lightly whisk the eggs. Add softened butter, sugar and cream. Bring just to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. After reaching a boil immediately remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
Remove tart shells from the fridge. Divide the toasted pecans between the shells and, reserving 12 whole pecans, fill the shells with the filling. Top each tart with a whole pecan. Bake for about 15 - 20 minutes or until the pastry is browned and the filling is set.
Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool.