Butter Tarts

As I’d mentioned back in my Poutine recipe post, my coming out of the closet as an immigrant has had quite the positive effect on this blog. You now have my poutine recipe, a crazy original recipe for Pumpkin Spice Nanaimo Bars, as well as my original (was stil closeted at the time!) recipe post for Mocha Nanaimo Bars.

Well, today I’d like to introduce you to another delicacy from my homeland – Butter Tarts!

Yep, these are the goodies mentioned in Len’s “Steal my Sunshine” (in the radio version, anyway, not this video!). They’ve been around forever, and you can get them anywhere in Canada… Tim Horton’s.. gas stations.. even boxes of factory made ones, sort like Little Debbie stuff.

Because they’ve been around forever, there are about a million versions of it. Some use brown sugar, some use white… most use corn syrup, I use maple… you get the idea.

butter tarts recipe

Maple Butter Tarts

Pre made tart shells, pie crust, or 1 batch pastry crust (recipe follows)

1/2 – 1 cup raisins
1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 large eggs, whisked

Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C)

Prepare tart shells recipe, if using. If using pre made pie crust, roll cut out and prepare tart shells per directions in the tart shells recipe below.

Divide raisins among tart shells – I personally like to have a fair amount of raisins in my buttertarts, so I use 1 cup. (1/2 cup is probably closer to average!). Set aside.

Combine butter, brown sugar, and maple syrup in a medium saucepan. Beat until smooth. Add in eggs, beat once more until well combined.

Heat mixture on medium, stirring constantly. Bring mixture JUST to a boil, remove from heat. Carefully pour mixture into prepared tart shells.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, until filling has set and the pastry is lightly browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool. These are usually served at room temperature, but some prefer them chilled! Makes about 12 tarts.


Pastry Crust (Pate Brisee)

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp white sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled
1/8 to 1/4 cup ice water

Combine flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor. Chop chilled butter into small cubes, add to flour mixture, and process 15-20 seconds, until it resembles fine gravel.

While running processor, stream 1/8 cup of ice water into the flour mixture, just until dough holds together when pinched. If necessary, add more water.

Dump dough out onto a work surface, gather into a disk shape. Wrap with plastic wrap, chill for 1 hour.

Lightly flour your work surface, roll chilled dough out pretty thin – 1/8″ to 1/4″, depending on your tastes – some prefer a thinner shell, some thicker. Cut 4″ rounds from the pastry – you’re aiming for 12.

Carefully transfer the pastry rounds to a muffin pan. I like to flatten the bottom against the tin, and work out from there, flattening the whole round to be flush with the muffin pan cavity – it holds the most filling! Feel free to get decorative about it – flattening the bottom of the dough against the muffin pan, gently ruffling the edges… it’s up to you! Chill the pan of prepared tart shells until ready to use.

With 2017 being Canada’s 150th birthday, it’s about time I wrote the Canadian cookbook I’ve been planning for YEARS.

“More than Poutine” will be a Canadian cookbook like no other – written by a Canadian living away, it includes both traditional homecooking recipes, as well as homemade versions of many of the snacks, sauces, convenience foods, and other food items that are hard to come by outside of Canada!

High quality gluten-free versions of most recipes will be included.

The Kickstarter for “More Than Poutine is live, here. Please consider backing, and sharing the campaign with your friends!

4 thoughts on “Butter Tarts

  1. I have to share this comment from Twitter, it kinda made my day. From @geekylyndsay:

    “Butter tarts? You just outed yourself as Canadian. I mean I knew but you may as well put on your toque man”

  2. This looks like a nice little dessert. I’m curious, though, what’s accomplished by creaming the butter/sugar/syrup/eggs, if you are just going to melt all the fat to liquid right away?

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