Desserts Pastry

Butter Tarts


Butter tarts are a Canadian treat that have just never really made it to the States. They are very similar to pecan tarts, which you can find around here, but they have raisins instead of pecans. I also find them to be richer and just all around more delicious. I saw them everywhere we went in Canada a couple of weeks ago, and it inspired me to make some. I have made butter tart squares and blogged about them previously; these are pretty much the same thing with a little extra work.

My Nana always made these when I was growing up, and they were my brother’s absolute favourite. When we visited my grandparents, I always looked forward to bachelor buttons, and Ryan looked forward to the butter tarts. I was never a huge fan of them when I was little because I hated raisins with a passion. I can deal with raisins now when they are in a dessert of some sort, so butter tarts have been added to my list of Canadian foods that I miss and love.
Butter Tarts
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Prepare sufficient pastry (I use the same recipe that I use for pie crust, and I have included it below) and roll out on floured surface. Cut with a circular floured cookie cutter and line 12 medium sized muffin cups. Do not prick with a fork or anything. The circles should be slightly larger than the muffin cups; I just used a glass to cut them out. You will have to sort of ease the pastry into the cups until it touches the bottom, and the sides should come up a little higher than halfway on the cup.

Pour sufficient boiling water to cover 1/2 cup raisins in a bowl. Let stand until plumped and drain. Arrange 4 or 5 raisins in the bottom of each tart shell (you will not need a whole 1/2 cup unless you really love raisins).

1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar

Stir in:
1 cup corn syrup
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla

Combine until blended. Spoon into unbaked tart shells, filling about 2/3 full. Bake in preheated oven for 15-18 minutes. Do not allow filling to bubble over because it will be difficult to remove the tarts from the muffin tray. I would suggest cooling them for a few minutes on the counter and then transferring the whole tray to the freezer for a few minutes to make it easier to take them out. You should run a knife around the edges before removing the tarts. Makes 12 tarts.

Pastry Crust
2 cups flour
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup shortening
4 Tbsp ice water

Cut shortening into flour and salt. Mix with pastry blender until it forms pea-sized bits. Add water and mix with a fork until dough forms.

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