Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Go Topless You Little Tart, You

A little sweet. A little sharp. Tarts are not quite pies, but they have all of the wonderful and tasty features of a pie. They are just missing the tops.

These noble little pie-like creations can be traced back to Medieval times. From meats to fruits to custard, these little pies were quite popular with the rich and highfalutin.

Two crust pies were for the common folk, but take the top off and nobility swoons with their super powers.

Tarts are special, and you don’t have to be high and mighty to enjoy a good tart. After years of trying all the different ways to fill a tart, the most popular are the fruit tarts. Make them small enough, you can call them tartlets.

At the Waterhouse holiday dinners, the following tart is a favorite.

Harry hopes that Seamus gets his own tart  filled with something yummy. Thank you to Catherine of Shadow Dog Designs for this tart treat.


1 ¼ CUPS PECANS (5 OZ.), chopped

¾ CUP SUGAR (divided into ½ cup and ¼ cup)






1 CUP FRESH CRANBERRIES (3.5 OZ.), chopped

1 BAKED (10 INCH) TART SHELL (or baked pie crust)

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Lightly toast pecans in a shallow baking pan/ cookie sheet in middle of oven until fragrant but not darker, about 5 minutes. Cool pecans. Leave oven on. (see below video on toasting recommendations.)
  • Cook ½ cup sugar in a 2-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, undisturbed, until the sugar begins to melt. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally with a fork (to help the sugar melt evenly) until the sugar has melted into a deep golden caramel color.
  • Tilt pan and carefully add the corn syrup. The caramel will harden and steam vigorously. Cook over moderately low heat, stirring until caramel is dissolved.
  • Remove pan from heat and add butter, stirring until melted. Cool caramel until it stops bubbling.
  • Whisk together eggs, salt, vanilla, and remaining ¼ cup sugar.
  • Add caramel in a stream to whisked ingredients, whisking constantly until well mixed.
  • Spread pecans and cranberries evenly in tart shell or pie crust. Pour caramel over them, tapping pecans and cranberries down to coat thoroughly.
  • Bake in the middle of the oven until filling is set, about 30 to 35 minutes.
  • Cool completely in the tart pan on a rack before removing rim of pan.

Serves 6-8

If you need help toasting your nuts, here is a quick video that tells you how to toast in the oven. She left out the time to bake, but I have found that at 350 degrees, they toast up nicely in about 5 to 7 minutes. Don’t over-toast or the nuts will burn. Nuts will have a oily feel to them when they’re toasted.

This tart recipe sounds so delicious that I might decorate my holiday table with a topless tart.

Here are some more things that would look good on your holiday table:

Squirrels And Acorn Nuts Desk Or Shelf Clock Handmade From Cherry Wood

Kevs Krafts 

Scarf, boho style, scarf for women, knit scarf

Andrea Designs 

Sun Beach Theme Keychain, Purse Charm for Handbags, Accessory

Victorian Style Treasures 

Skull Cap, Teen Cap, Knit Hat, Hat for Kids


Knitted Cowl NeckWarmer in Chocolate Brown with Topaz Sequins

Magdalene Knits 

Silver Cow Skull Earrings, Wood Beads, Handmade Fashion Jewelry

Covergirl Beads 

Zen Yoga Necklace, Ceramic Palm Wood Mother of Pearl Jewelry Gift

Shadow Dog Designs

Antique Copper and Forest Green Acorn Autumn Handmade Dangle Earrings

Kats All That 

Natural Wooden Bead Stretch Bracelet

The Singing Beader 

Gorgeous, Buckeye Beautiful Multi Color Exotic Wood Earrings


Long Pinecones on Calliste Green Spiral Notebook

Colleen Cornelius 

Autumn Harvest Wood Print Wall Art Home Decor for the Fall

Blue Morning Expressions 

In addition to these fantastic gift selections, each of these artists have their own shops filled with more gift ideas, so be sure and stop and shop with each one.

If you see  something you like, buy it now or forever lose it as handmade gifts sell out quickly!

Shop from these additional countdowns and pages:

Don’t see the perfect gift? Ask an artist to help you design something.

Shop now!



  1. Thank you Julie for including my Neckwarmer among your BME Collection for this week, Can’t wait to start making the Cranberry Tarts!!! They look delicious!
    Off to promote!
    Thanks again for all your support!

  2. Thank you, Julie and Harry, for your mid-week post. Catherine's tart recipe sounds delicious. I can almost taste it just reading the ingredients. Sharing and promoting all items.

  3. Hahaha . . . love the title of your blog, Julie! And thanks for sharing the tart recipe. Dh and I love pecan pie, but often find them too sweet (unless I make them myself). We have never gone back to a plain pecan pie since I started making this. Love the tartness of the cranberries with the nuttiness of the pecans. Makes my mouth water right now just thinking about it! Moose and I thank you for sharing my Zen necklace in with all the other pretties. Will share the blog far and wide and pin the items along with tweeting. Treats to Handsome Harry Pup from the Singing Moose.

  4. Thank you, Julie for including my wood bead stretch bracelet with all these other wonderful gift selections. Catherine's tart recipe sounds amazing. I can't wait to try it! Shared....

  5. Fabulous tart recipe and wonderful hadmade gift-idea selections!

  6. Thank you, Julie and Harry, for including my hat with these beautiful creations. Shared.

  7. Thank you Julie and Harry for another great mid week post. Thanks for including my keychain.
    Catherine your cranberry tart sounds delicious, I will have to try it.

    Shared on Pinterest.

  8. I love the title line! Thank you Julie for the mid week promo and for including my green acorn earrings. Will be promoting all.

  9. Julie,
    Thank you for including my red knit scarf in your gorgeous collection of handmade creations. I shared all of them on Twitter and Pinterest board 2020-Countdown to Christmas Shopping Guide.