For a crust with the texture of a pecan sandy, nuts are blended into an easy, buttery press-in tart dough. The filling, made with a simple combination of brown sugar, milk, and egg yolks, is a nostalgic nod to butterscotch pudding. Using a rectangular fluted tart pan gives this stunner a more graphic look, and makes it a snap to cut into small servings—so family and friends can feel free to try every option on the dessert table.

Martha Stewart Living, November 2019


Credit: Christopher Testani

Recipe Summary

35 mins
5 hrs
Serves 10 to 12


Sugared Pecan Topping (Optional)


Instructions Checklist
  • Crust: Preheat oven to 375°F. Toast pecans on a rimmed baking sheet until fragrant and golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes, then finely grind in a food processor. Add flour and salt to food processor and pulse just to combine.

  • In a bowl, stir together butter and granulated sugar; stir in egg yolk. Add flour-pecan mixture and stir until mixture has the texture of fine crumbs and holds together when pressed between two fingers. Press evenly into bottom and up sides of an 8 1/4-by-11-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom.

  • Freeze pan 15 minutes, then transfer to oven and bake until set and deep golden brown, about 25 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack; let cool 15 minutes.

  • Filling: Meanwhile, in a saucepan, whisk together brown sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Whisk in egg yolks, then milk. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 1 minute. Remove from heat and whisk in butter. Pour filling into crust and let cool 15 minutes. Press plastic wrap directly onto surface of filling and refrigerate until set, at least 4 hours and up to 2 days.

  • Pecans: Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. In a small bowl, stir together pecans, sugar, salt, and egg white. Spread mixture into an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake, stirring once, until golden brown and crunchy, about 15 minutes. Separate clumped nuts with a fork; let cool completely. Pecans can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.

  • To serve pie, remove plastic wrap, then sides of pan; transfer pie to a platter. Decorate with sugared pecans, cut into squares, and serve.