Sylvia’s Pine Nut Tart

Riffing a holiday favorite, Pecan Pie, this tart is pretty much a pecan pie recipe with the nut choice swapped out. Why?  We’re always thinking of what feels more like Colorado and the regional Southwest in our cooking and baking. Pine nuts are really the only tree nut of our Southwestern region.  It is nearly impossible to find true ‘pinon’ nuts from the tree of the same name but if you find them, buy them and stock up. Note:  there is only one recipe of Sylvia’s that uses Karo Syrup as it is a most unnatural ingredient and yet she sticks with it. This makes two 12” tarts as these nutty sweets last and can be cut into nut bars.


  • This makes two tart doughs. With smaller Thanksgiving gatherings due to COVID-19, make just one tart and freeze the dough for future celebrations.
  • Regionalize this dessert by swapping out the nuts. Ex: living in the Pacific Northwest? Use Hazelnuts. Also, if you have mixed salted nuts in your pantry, go for it.


  • 3 cups Unbleached Organic Flour
  • 3 sticks/24 oz. Cold Unsalted Organic Butter (the best butter your budget can afford)
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • 2/3 cup Ice Water
  1. Add flour and salt to food processor and pulse once.
  2. Add ½-inch cubes of butter and pulse for 5 seconds. No more!
  3. Add cold water and pulse again for just 5 seconds.
  4. This dough should then be placed upon a floured surface. Gather into one large ball with out pressing too hard and cut ball in half.
  5. Place half-ball dough on plastic wrap and cover dough in plastic wrap and then press down into about ¾-inch thick round. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  6. On a floured surface roll out the tart dough to about ¼-in. to 1/3-in. thick dough and place in a 12” circular or rectangular tart plan. (If you only have pie plates, that’s just fine. Use the dough as you would for a pie).
  7. Crimp the edges of the tart with your finger and thumb or by using tines of a fork.

Pine Nut Tart (Quantities for one tart)

  • ½ cup Karo Light Corn Syrup
  • ½ cup Karo Dark Corn Syrup
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 ½  cups  pine nuts
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Stir the first six ingredients until blended.
  3. Add the pine nuts.
  4. Pour into tart crust.
  5. Back on center of rack of oven for 60 to 70 minutes. Let rest.
  6. Best served at room temperature with a generous dollop of  homemade whipped cream, perhaps with a dusting of cinnamon or lemon zest.