I was inspired this year to add some new flavors to my pecan pie. First of all, I made it into a tart because I like the ratio of crust to filling better. Then I browned the butter to add a depth of richness, and bring out a nutty character in the butter. Then I reached for my jar of Lyle’s Golden Syrup, which is like golden, magical sweetness. I know that sounds a little crazy but hear me out. This syrup can be used any time a recipe calls for corn syrup or honey and it adds a unique flavor. It is almost like toffee in liquid form. It tastes buttery, even thought there is no butter in it. If you like caramel/toffee/butterscotch flavors you will love Lyle’s Golden Syrup. It adds more than just sweetness to this tart. Toasting the nuts also adds flavor and texture – they get just a little bit crunchier. Don’t skip that step. I created this in a 7½- by 10½-inch rectangular tart pan, but it will work just as well in a 10-inch round loose-bottom round tart pan. — Dédé Wilson, Founder, Bakepedia
Coat a 10-inch loose-bottomed fluted tart pan with nonstick spray (round or rectangular); set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter with the flat paddle attachment on medium-high speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the sugar gradually and continue to beat on medium-high speed until lightened and creamy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg yolk until well combined. Add the flour and pulse the mixer on and off until it begins to combine, and then run the mixer on medium-low speed just until the dough begins to form. Scrape out onto plastic wrap and use the wrap to help press the dough into a flat disk shape. Wrap the dough thoroughly. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Roll out on a lightly floured surface and fit into the pan, pressing into corners and trimming the top flush with fluted edges. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or freeze for 15 minutes while the oven preheats. At this point, you can double-wrap the tart shell very well in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil and refrigerate for up to 2 days before baking, or freeze for up to 1 week.
Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake directly on the oven rack for 8 to 12 minutes or just until it feels dry to the touch and is beginning to color around the edges. Check about halfway through baking; if the crust is puffing up, gently press back down with the back of a fork. Cool the tart pan set on a rack while you make filling.
Place the butter in a medium saucepan and melt over medium heat. Continue to cook until the butter browns, but do not let it burn. Remove from the heat and whisk in the sugar and Lyle’s Golden Syrup. Allow to cool slightly (you maybe transfer this to a mixing bowl if you like to hasten the cooling). Once it is barely warm, whisk in the eggs one at a time, then whisk in the bourbon, if using, vanilla, and salt. Stir in the pecans. Scrape into the crust.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 35 to 40 minutes. The filling will be slightly puffed and set around the edges. The middle might still look a bit soft; that’s okay. It firms up tremendously upon cooling. Cool the pan on a rack. The tart is ready to serve or may be loosely covered with foil and stored at room temperature overnight.