For the Pecan Crust -
2 ½ cups pecan pieces4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted2 tbsp granulated sugar1 egg white¼ tsp kosher salt
For the Maple Custard -
1 ½ cups milk6 eggs yolks½ cup pure maple syrup¼ cup cornstarch½ tsp salt1 tsp vanilla extract
For the Apple topping -
2-4 fresh apples, quartered, cored and sliced very thin (keep in lemon water until read to use)Juice of 1 lemon, added to a large bowl of cold water¼ cup honey (optional)
Make the Pecan Crust -
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a food processor or blender, pulse the pecans until they are finely chopped and the pieces are about the size of breadcrumbs. Please the chopped nuts in a larg bowl and add the remaining ingredients, tossing together with a fork. Press the mixture evenly into the bottom of and up the sides of a 9 inch tart pan or a 8 tartlet pans. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool completely and then fill with Maple Custard and top with apples.
Make the Maple Custard -
Pour the milk into a small pot and place over medium heat until small bubbles form around the edges. Whisk the egg yolks, maple syrup, cornstarch and salt together in a bowl until combined. Slowly pour the hot milk over the egg mixture, while whisking, to warm the eggs. Transfer the mixture back to the pot and place over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly until the mixture becomes very thick. Turn off the heat, add vanilla, and strain through a fine mesh sieve into a heat safe bowl. Place plastic wrap directly onto the surface and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Assemble the Tart -
Spread the maple custard into the pecan tart shell. Warm the apple slices in the microwave until pliable. Roll a slice of apple into a tight spiral and stand it up vertically in the custard. Continue to arrange apple slices in a concentric pattern around the first one, building a rose patter. Repeat until the top of the tart is completely covered with apple roses. Thin the honey slightly with a few drops of warm water, and brush over the apples for shine (optional)
Lee Epting, a true Southern gentleman and possibly one of the South's finest entertainers, passed along Epting Events' recipe for their signature red velvet cupcakes with pecans. We consider ourselves quite lucky to be able to share it with you.