Pecan pie is a mainstay of any good Thanksgiving feast, but why not make a bunch of mini pecan tassies instead? These little gems are the pecan version of Canadian butter tarts made with a cream cheese pastry.
A pecan tassie is a delicious little dessert – on the surface, it basically looks like a regular pecan pie that has been shrunken down to almost bite-sized and for us Canadians, it just looks like a butter tart!
However, there is more to meet the eye with pecan tassies – with a name coming from the old Scottish word for a drinking goblet due to their shape, pecan tassies take the texture and flavor of a pecan pie and shrink it into a bite-sized package with a tangy cream cheese pastry instead of pie crust.
Pecan Tassies Ingredients
Don’t forget to look at the recipe card at the bottom of the page for all of the ingredient amounts needed here.
Cream Cheese Pastry
• Cream cheese softened to room temperature
• Softened salted butter
• All-purpose flour
• Chopped pecans
• Large egg
• Brown sugar
• Melted salted butter
• Whipping cream
• Vanilla extract
How To Make Pecan Tassies
• Blend together the cream cheese and butter until smooth with no lumps
• Mix in the flour until combined, and then chill for an hour
• Divide the chilled mixture into 24 balls and press the dough into deep well muffin tins
• Sprinkle half of the pecans into the bottom of each pastry
• Mix together the filling ingredients until completely combined
• Divide the filling between the cups and then sprinkle the remaining pecans on top
• Bake in the oven at 325 Fahrenheit for 20 minutes until the filling has set and the pastry is golden brown and; once cooked, cool them completely in the tins and then remove
The Secret To The Crust
The crust portion of this recipe will likely confuse a few people expecting a standard pie crust recipe. The use of nothing more than some butter, cream cheese, and flour to make a crust doesn't seem like it should work, but it actually makes something really delicious.
The cream cheese gives it all of the flavor, texture, and mouthfeel that you would expect, while the butter gives it that crumbliness and slightly crispy texture on the exterior.
While it might be tempting to ignore any advice and just go straight for a traditional pie crust, definitely give this cream cheese pastry a try, as it makes everything tie together so well.
The Humble Pecan
The natural range of the pecan sits firmly in the American south, with most of them sitting in Texas and along the Mississippi. Their primary season for harvests is around mid-October, which is one of the reasons why you so often see pecan pies for Thanksgiving and why pecans feature so heavily in Southern desserts.
We don't use them as much in Canadian baking traditionally, but thanks to global shipping pecans can be found in your local grocery store and in the last few decades we have been baking with them more and more!
Looking for more delicious Pie recipes? Try these out:
These are a really delicious addition to your dessert tray and are perfect for right beside your butter tarts!
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- Prep Time
- 25 minutes
- Cook Time
- 20 minutes
- Christmas Cookies, Dessert
- 24 tarts
- Karlynn Johnston
Cream Cheese Pastry
- 3 ounces cream cheese softened, at room temp
- 1/2 cup salted butter softened
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup finely chopped pecans
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon melted salted butter
- 1 tablespoon whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a medium bowl, blend the cream cheese and butter together until smooth, with no lumps.
- Mix in the flour until completely combined. Chill for an hour.
- Preheat your oven to 325 °F. Get out a 24 well mini muffin tin.
- Once the mixture has chilled, divide and shape into 24 balls. Press the dough into each one, into the bottom and up the sides.
- Sprinkle half of the pecans into the bottom of each pastry.
- Mix together the filling ingredients until completely combined.
- Divide the filling between the cups. Divide and sprinkle the remaining pecans on top.
- Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until the filling has set and the pastry is golden brown.
- Cool in the tins completely, then remove.
- The raisin lovers can throw a handful of raisins in these as well (not traditional, but delicious!)
All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.