A pecan crust may be used for many different types of tart recipes from sweet to savory. For savory meat or cheese tarts, ingredients such as brown sugar and cinnamon should be left out and replaced with dried herbs as well as a little salt and pepper. The main thing to keep in mind when planning fillings for a pecan crust is to not allow any ingredients to overwhelm the pleasant nuttiness of the tart shell.
For this reason, strong tasting vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage are best left out of a savory tart filling in favor of something milder such as green beans. Sweet potatoes and a pecan pie shell can make a perfect pairing for a rich, satisfying tart. Spinach and brie or Swiss cheese filling can be tasty in a pie shell made with pecans. Bacon is a meat that can be wonderful in a savory pecan crust as it may bring out the nutty flavor and add smokiness rather than be too overpowering in flavor.
Bourbon, rum, molasses, brown sugar, maple syrup and vanilla can be delicious additions to fillings used for sweet tarts made with a crust of finely chopped pecans. A little ginger or cinnamon added to a pecan crust can enhance the flavor of the nuts. A butter tart filling made with raisins can be a good match for a pecan shell as an alternative to a traditional pie dough crust. Apple and cinnamon is another filling that may be made in a pecan style crust rather than a pie shell.
Other possible fruit filling ideas for pecan crusts are pumpkin, pear, peach and lemon. Berry fillings such as strawberry, cherry and blueberry can also work well in pecan pie shells. Serving any of these flavors of tarts with whipped cream can make a fruit pie pecan crust especially appealing. The sweetness of the whipped cream combined with the crunchiness of a pie crust made of nuts can make for interesting dessert textures and flavors.
Chocolate cream pie filling is a favorite for a pecan crust. Chopped pecans or pecan halves may be placed on top of the chocolate filling for a decorative garnish. Banana or coconut cream pecan-crusted pies can also be delicious. These are great filling ideas to use when pecan crusts are made ahead and kept in the freezer, as the shell must be baked and cooled before adding a cream pie filling.