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Pecan Rum Tart Is the Perfect Thanksgiving Dessert

What is one of the most popular Thanksgiving desserts? It has to be pecan pie. This Pecan Rum Tart is the perfect dessert for Thanksgiving and fall.

Are you a pecan pie, pumpkin pie or apple pie person? I love all three, but for Thanksgiving and fall, pecan pie wins hands down. If you love pecan pie, you will love this Pecan Rum Tart. If you are on the fence about pecan pie, this pecan rum tart will convince you.

Whether you are hosting or taking a dish to someone else’s house, this is the time to put your best foot (or should I say dish) forward. I love all the sides – cornbread dressing, cranberry sauce, green beans or Brussels sprouts, and creamy mashed potatoes with pan gravy. If you need more ideas for Thanksgiving side dishes, you absolutely need to check out this list.

But for today, let’s talk dessert. No Thanksgiving meal would be complete without a show~stopping dessert and I have one: Pecan Rum Tart is the perfect Thanksgiving dessert.

I’m so excited to share this amazing Thanksgiving dessert with you.

Normally, I would be sharing some Thanksgiving home decor ideas or a Thanksgiving tablescape or a Thanksgiving DIY project or ideas for holiday entertaining. But since I already have shared those things with you, I decided it was time to share one of my very favorite Thanksgiving desserts.

Now I know that depending on where you live, dessert might be pumpkin pie, apple pie, chess pie or something else entirely. An article in Southern Living Magazine a few years ago focused on traditional Thanksgiving pies in the southern states. Very interesting article with a bit of history and, of course, recipes.

I was not one bit surprised which pie got star billing for Texas: pecan pie and I’ve got an extra special one. This Pecan Rum Tart will beat the pants off any contenders. I promise.

In Texas we love pecan pie; in fact, (trivia question here, folks), the pecan tree is our state tree. Other pies, such as pumpkin, chocolate or apple, may be offered, but pecan pie rules.

Several years ago, our friend Grant brought his version of pecan pie to a party and we all swooned over it. Grant and I made a deal. I would teach Grant how to roast vegetables and he would teach me how to make his pecan rum tart.

A few weeks later, Sweet Shark and I went over to Grant and his wife’s house for a little cooking class. I can tell you that we ate very well that night. For Thanksgiving that year I used Grant’s recipe and it was a super big hit. It’s been my to~go pecan pie recipe ever since.

Five years ago I interviewed him for a magazine article about his pecan rum tart and sweet Grant said I could share his recipe, which he has been perfecting and tweaking for years. Everyone say, thank you, Grant!

Pecan Rum Tart

The Perfect Dessert for Thanksgiving: Pecan Rum Tart

If you’ve been reading Bluesky at Home for a while, you know that I was a cooking instructor for 15 years. I just can’t give you a recipe. I have to show you the how~to and include lots of tips to help you make the best dish you can. So I have 10 TIPS to help you make this Pecan Rum Tart or any other tart.

The Pecan Rum Tart Crust

I’ve included links to a few of my favorite baking tools for your convenience. I may receive some compensation if you order a product from this site, but you don’t pay a penny more.

Grant’s dough is a pie crust, but he bakes it in a 15~inch tart pan. That’s a hard size to find so I adjusted the crust amounts for a 10~inch tart pan. This crust is easy because it’s made in the food processor and it doesn’t require chilling unless you want to make it ahead of time.

TIP 1: Pay attention to how the recipe reads when it calls for sifted flour: 1 cup sifted flour means to sift before measuring; 1 cup flour, sifted means to sift after measuring.

I love this sifter because it only requires one hand to sift and you can mix ingredients in it, take off the plastic bottom and you’re ready to sift.

sifting flour for pecan rum tart

TIP 2: Make sure that your butter is very cold when you dice it on your cutting board. Use your sharp chef’s knife.

TIP 3:  After you dice the butter, cover it and put it back in the fridge while you gather the other ingredients.

cubed butter

TIP 4: Put a few ice cubes in a measuring cup and fill it with water. Tap water is not cold enough.

ingredients crust for pecan rum tart

Add all the ingredients except the ice water to your food processor. Process just until thoroughly combined.

Add 1 tablespoon of water at a time and pulse the food processor. Continue until you can squeeze a small bit of the dough and it holds together – almost like cookie dough.

I love my Kitchen Aid Food Processor. I’ve had it for 20 years and it’s a workhorse.

making dough for crust for pecan rum tart

TIP 5: When you purchase tart pans, make sure they have removable bottoms! I have a set of 4~inch tart pans for individual tarts and the 10~inch tart pan.

tart pans

On a lightly floured counter, use a wood rolling pin to roll out the crust dough.

For a 10~inch tart pan, roll to 11 – 12 inches. For a 4 1/2 tart pan (I love mini-tarts!), roll out to 5 – 6 inches.

crust for pecan rum tart

Place the crust in the tart pan and gently push into the edges and up to the top of the sides. Use pieces of dough to fill in where needed.

crust for pecan rum tart

TIP 6: Roll the rolling pin across the top of the tart pan to remove the excess crust.

crust for pecan rum tart

TIP 7: Place the tart pan on top of a piece of rubber shelf liner. It really helps keep the tart pan in place while you are working with it.

crust for pecan rum tart

NOTE: You can prepare the tart pans ahead and put in the fridge until you are ready to add the filling them.

The Pecan Pie Filling

First, lightly whisk the eggs in a large bowl. I love a large whisk for this task.

whisking eggs

Here’s the secret to this tart: dark karo syrup instead of light and a good bit of dark rum.

pecan rum tart ingredients

Next, add the rest of the ingredients to the eggs and be sure to thoroughly combine all until the mixture is a rich brown color. Then add the chopped pecans.

filling for pecan rum tart

Fill the tart pans with the filling. If you are using several mini~tart pans, be sure to evenly divide the filling among them.

TIP 8: Before filling the tarts, place the pan on a sheet pan covered in parchment paper. This makes it much easier to place the tart pans into the oven. The parchment keeps the sheet pan clean in case any of the filling bubbles over.

The Garnish

What makes this tart so pretty is the garnish of whole pecans.

For Grant’s 15~inch version, he has counted out precisely how many pecans are needed for each circle. I’m not that precise.

Just start in the middle of the tart with your first circle and continue around the tart until you get to the outer edge. You will need to break off pieces of pecan to fit in the smaller areas.

pecan rum tart

Now you are ready to bake. When the tart is done, the filling should be fairly firm, but a little wobbly in the center. It will firm up as it cools. Carefully remove the outer ring of the tart pan.

TIP 9:  A cake spatula makes it really easy to remove the bottom of the tart from the tart pan. Then you can slip the tart onto your serving plate or cake stand.

pecan rum tart

TIP 10: Tart pans can rust if any moisture is left on them after washing. After washing, place them in a warm oven for a few minutes until all moisture has evaporated.

tart pans in oven

Essential Pecan Rum Tart (and other Baking) Tools

Enjoy the Pecan Rum Tart!

pecan rum tart

I like to add a dollop of whipped cream to my pecan pie. Vanilla ice cream is great, too; warm the pie in the oven or zap it in the microwave if you like. Pecan Rum Tart a la mode!

slice of pecan rum tart

The Pecan Rum Tart Recipe

Before you begin to make the crust, be sure to preheat your oven to 350˚F.

Pecan Rum Tart

Pecan Rum Tart

Delicious and impressive traditional dessert with the addition of rum for flavor at Thanksgiving.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 45 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 10 slices


Tart Crust

  • 2 cups flour sifted
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 stick cold butter cubed
  • 4 – 6 tablespoons cold water

Tart Filling

  • 4 large eggs slightly beaten
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups dark karo syrup
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2-4 tablespoons dark rum depending on taste preference
  • 1 1/2 cups pecans chopped
  • 1 – 2 cups whole or half pecans for garnish


Tart Crust

  • Combine all the tart crust ingredients in the bowl of a food processor, adding water by the tablespoon as needed, until the dough comes together.
  • Flatten the dough and roll out on a lightly floured counter to a 12~inch circle. Press the tart crust evenly into the bottom and sides of a 10~inch tart pan. 

  • Use a rolling pin across the top of the tart pan to remove excess dough.

  • If not making the tart immediately or while you are making filling, put the tart pan in the refrigerator.

Tart Filling

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Place the tart pan on a half sheet pan covered with a piece of parchment paper. 

  • Combine all the filling ingredients in a large bowl and pour into the tart crust. 

  • Starting in the middle of the tart, lay out the pecans in circles, breaking off pieces as needed to cover filling to edges of the tart.

  • Bake the tart for 40 ~ 45 minutes. 

  • Allow to cool in tart pan until just warm. 

  • Remove the tart from the tart pan to a flat-bottom round platter or cake stand. 
  • Slice and serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
Keyword pecan pie, pecan rum tart
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

As we prepare for a safe and Happy Thanksgiving, may the blessings of family, friends, health and country be with you.

Enjoy a piece of pie for me. Be sure to PIN this so you don’t forget the Perfect Thanksgiving Dessert.

pin for later graphic in blue
Pecan Rum Tart
pumpkin pie blog signuture


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  1. I don’t see on the recipe how much rum to use. Perhaps it’s hidden behind one of the ads on the recipe.

  2. Carol,
    How delicious! I can’t wait to try your recipe! I love all three kinds of pie and usually have a thin slice of each. It’s just not Thanksgiving without Pecan!

  3. Oh yum! It’s been about 10 years since being diagnosed with multiple food allergies so pecan pie is now a beloved memory, but I can still imagine and appreciate your fabulous pecan rum tart.

    My favorite pie was Kentucky Derby pie. It is like pecan pie, only with chocolate. Since KY is bourbon country, I am sure there is a derby pie recipe with bourbon that might be similar to your rum tart.

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe and joining the hop. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  4. Carol, thanks for reminding me about your pecan tart! I so need to try this recipe! You know this Texas girl loves her pecan pie, and I love the way the pecans are styled on your tart. I like adding a little salted caramel rum sauce to mine just for an added kick! 😉 As if it’s not sugary and sweet enough already! Happy Thanksgiving, my friend!

    1. The sauce idea sounds worth a try, but as you said, may be too much. I’m a sweetened whipped cream girl. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family.

  5. Carol, your pecan run tart is almost too pretty to eat! I usually call dibs on pumpkin pie but it’s pecan pie all the way for my husband. He will love this! I’m pinning this and hope I have a chance to make it during the holidays. Happy Thanksgiving!

  6. 5 stars
    Carol, I am not much of a baker other than cookies, but I did once bake a chocolate pecan pie for Thanksgiving, and this one looks like one I could handle, too! I love pecan pie and would enjoy this anytime of year! I hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving my sister and friend!

  7. Looks so beautiful and delicious!
    Thank you for linking up with us at Creative Muster! Pinned this 🙂
    Blessings to you xoxoxo Sharon from Adoring Creations.

  8. This may be my hubby’s new favorite! Pecan pie is his all time favorite. Our oldest grandson ( he’a teenager now) used to call it peacock pie, LOL. I’m happy to be hopping along with you, pinned. Hugs!

  9. Carol, I love eating pecan pie, but I don’t think I’ve ever actually made one. If we’re hosting I always make several pumpkin pies. The only other one I make for Thanksgiving is a deep dish apple, pear and cranberry lattice top pie. It’s my “thing.” My brother-in-law always makes a delicious pecan pie. But, I’m itching to try one now, especially with your wonderful tutorial to follow — pinned. Thanks so much for sharing! Have a marvelous holiday.

    1. Debbee, I hope you do try this one. I’m impressed that you make pie with a lattice top. I have to really concentrate when I do that.Thanks for Pinning Happy Thanksgiving.

  10. This looks amazing! Our whole family loves pecan pies…and I love rum! In fact, I could go for a rum punch right about now! Your tart not only looks delicious but is so pretty with the pattern of pecans on top. So great to hop with you again!

  11. Carol, this looks both beautiful and delicious! My grandmother always made both pumpkin and pecan pies for Thanksgiving and Christmas. You reminded me of this today. I always loved her pecan pie. Your recipe sounds yummy. Thanks for sharing. I hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving!

  12. Look at all those comments you have, Carol. And no wonder… your tart recipe looks amazing. Love your step-by-step instructions, too! I love pecan pie, but it took me many years to ‘acquire’ a taste for it. I was very surprised by my daughter when, at a very young age, she started requesting pecan pie every Thanksgiving… she loves it! Thanks for sharing this! Pinned! Hugs, sweet friend!

  13. Dang girl that looks yummy! Pecan is our fave around here too. I’ve only attempted it twice and once was gooey and the last one was burnt. And I mean so burnt that it was extremely hard to cut into! I’m the worst but would LOVE to give this a try. Thanks for the tips. Hope y’all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  14. This pecan tart looks almost too pretty to eat Carol! We have a pecan grove so we put up pecans nearly every year and they’ve become a Thanksgiving staple. I’m crazy excited to try this recipe. Thank you so much for the fabulous baking tips too. I love to bake and it’s always fun to learn new things. Hugs and Happy Thanksgiving, CoCo

  15. Beautiful dessert, looks like it was baked to perfection (sometimes they can get runny, as any baker knows). Great tips, esp on the sifted flour! I did not know the pecan tree was Texas’ state tree.

  16. Hi Carol. This pecan rum tart looks so delicious. An added bonus is that I’m terrible about the edges of pie crusts, and I never think about doing a tart option instead! Pinning the recipe.

  17. What a yummy looking treat! I did not know all that about Texas and pecans! My family loves my apple pie but who knows? Maybe next year lol Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm! xo Kathleen|Our Hopeful Home

  18. This Pecan Tart looks absolutely stunning!! Both of my parents grew up in GA, but they moved North almost as soon as I was born. We go back to visit family in GA all the time, especially for Holidays and pecans are always a large part of it! I will not be traveling South this year, but I think this tart will be the perfect addition to menu this year to play homage to Southern relatives 🙂

    1. Liz, I’m so excited that you like the Pecan Rum Tart. I actually bought my tart ingredients today. Funny you mention Georgia. I know it’s a super big pecan producing state like Texas. My daughters and grandkids live in Atlanta, so it’s like a second home to us.Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  19. Thanks to you and Grant for the recipe. I didn’t know 15-inch tart pans were available and I would love to have one. This is one show stopper dessert and I’m happy that you shared it with us this week at Celebrate Your Story.

    1. Sandra, there are BIG tart pans available, but I think 10~inch is plenty. THe bigger, the harder to bake and serve. I would rather have 2 10~inch than one 15~inch.

  20. The tart looks amazing. I could just spoon out a little of that mixture and have a taste! Thanks for this and the link into your hop so we can enjoy even more great food recipes~

  21. This looks like an incredibly rich pie! I’m almost ashamed to say I’ve never had pecan pie, but this looks so pretty with the circles of pecans on top. Thank you for sharing all these little tips to get this pie just right!

    1. Wendy, thanks for dropping by Bluesky Kitchen. If you’ve never had pecan pie, then now is the time to try it. I promise you will not be disappointed.

  22. One of the most beautiful pecan pies I’ve ever seen. My holiday baking list is growing longer but this is one dessert I don’t want to miss. Thank you for sharing with us this week at Celebrate Your Story, have a great week.

  23. Carol, this looks so delicious! Good tip about warming the pans to avoid rust. I had no idea! Thanks for organizing our Holiday Recipe Blog Hop! I love getting to see new recipes. Happy Fall! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  24. Your tart recipe looks and sounds delicious! Although I love to cook, I have never been much of a baker, but I think you just talked me into trying. Thank you for this fun and informative blog hop Carol!!

    Big Texas Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

    1. Susan, I don’t consider myself a baker, but I do love to bake when I’m in the mood and the occasion calls for a special dessert. Happy you are part of the blog hop.

  25. Thanks for hosting the Blog Hop! Your photos and tutorial are great! The tart looks delish & dangerous 🙂 I might have to run a few miles to eat it, but it looks worth it!

    1. Cindy, it would be worth it add a few miles to your run! I’m so happy that you are part of the Holiday Recipe Blog Hop and that I met you at BlogHer Food.

  26. Carol, your tart is a work of art! The pecans are beautiful and I know that tastes like a dream. Thanks for the idea of heating the tart pan pieces. Smart! Your photos are beautiful too.

  27. What a delicious looking tart! I can only imagine how divine it must be! Thanks for the tips, too… like the sifted flour and drying pans. So good to know! …thanks for hosting the Holiday Recipe Blog Hop! Looking forward to all the posts! 🙂 ~Rhonda

    1. Rhonda, thank for your comments and I love that like the baking tips. I love sharing the little things that make your kitchen experience better. Tart is delicious!

  28. OH my! Carol, this sounds amazing! I tried my luck and was successful with a chocolate pecan pie a couple of Thanksgivings ago, but I think this will be my new challenge! Thank you for organizing this great blog hop!

  29. Your pecan pie looks absolutely delicious, Carol, and pecan is my very favorite pie. I always put my tart pans and metal cookie cookies in the oven to fully dry, too. Thanks for organizing this fun blog hop.

    1. Kitty, it’s hard not to love pecan pie. This tart just takes the love factor up a notch. I learned that trick about putting the pans in the oven in culinary school.

  30. Love how the pecans make a beautiful pattern on the tart. Looks like it was very yummy.
    We’re giving away 4 fall themed recipes on the blog, would love for you to try and make them!

  31. Picture perfect! What a gorgeous pecan tart. Pies are my favorite but I love the simplicity of this tart recipe. Looking forward to reading all these delicious recipes this week! XO- Happy Holidays Carol!

    1. Jennifer, I’m so happy that you are joining us. The pecan tart is really easy. We made it again today in a cooking class I taught and everyone loved it. We made them in 4 !/2~inch tart pans so each person got to make their own. Got 6 out of the same recipe amounts as the 10~inch tart.

  32. Carol,
    You are so right. Pecan pie rules Thanksgiving in the South. This recipe looks delicious and your cooking tips are just the kind I need. Thank you for hosting this Holiday Recipe Blog Hop and for including Botanic Bleu.


  33. Carol! Thank you! I have been looking for just the right dessert to bring to our family Thanksgiving and your Rum Pecan Tart is perfect!! What a fun week, I can’t wait to see all the goodies that are shared-thank you so much for putting this together, I am thrilled to be part of this group!

  34. Carol, your Pecan Rum tart is so pretty. How special to make this and share for your blog hop. I shall be adding this to my recipes. Have a lovely week.

  35. Carol, your tart not only sounds delicious, but looks absolutely beautiful! Pecan pie is something that is always served at my family’s holiday dinners, and I know that they would love this recipe!
    Thanks so much for hosting the holiday recipe blog hop and allowing me to be a part of it. I am having so much fun!!! I hope that you have a great Monday!!!

  36. Carol- This is the prettiest tart I have ever seen. Thank you for the recipe and for such a wonderful tutorial.
    I am so honored to be part of this week’s blog hop. I have my note pad and my coffee and I am taking notes for my holiday menu.

    Again- this is magazine worthy!