If you are Canadian, then you probably grew up eating the Canadian Classic know as Butter tarts. if you’re not then you may not have had the pleasure. Butter tarts are similar to what Americans know as pecan tarts. A flaky pastry filled with a sweet filling consisting of butter, sugar, syrup, egg and of course raisins. They are baked at a fairly high heat to create a somewhat crunchy top with a semi-solid (but not runny) filling. Traditionally made with raisins but if you prefer you can use pecans instead or both if you’re adventurous.
Butter tarts are a holiday favorite in my house. Every year I bake up a batch and there are never any leftovers when the holidays are over. I bake them ahead of the holidays and put them in the freezer until I need them. They freeze well, just let them come to room temperature on the counter in an airtight container until you serve them. I don’t often make them outside of the holidays however, only because then I would EAT them.
I prefer butter tarts made with a thicker homemade pastry. If you like a good pastry recipe you can find mine here. If you don’t want the fuss of making your own pastry then by all means go and buy pre made shells. It won’t affect the flavor and to be honest the holidays are busy enough without stressing about home made pastry.
Classic Canadian Butter Tarts
- 1 muffin tin – 12
For the Pastry
- 1 Basic pie dough recipe, into 12 circles to line muffin tins *or store bought shells (24)
Prepare the raisins
- ½ cup raisins *do not add to mixture soaked and dried *see below
For the Butter Tart Filling
- ½ cup corn syrup
- ½ cup lightly packed brown sugar
- ¼ cup butter, melted
- 1 large egg
- ½ tsp vanilla
- ¼ tsp salt
- THIS STEP IS OPTIONAL, BUT I LIKE MY RAISINS PLUMP
- Soak raisins in boiling water in a bowl for 10 minutes then drain and dry with paper towel before adding them to your tart shells.
- divide raisins between the muffin tins, set aside
- In a bowl, combine all of the filling ingredients except the raisins, mix well
- Pour the filling into the prepared tart shells (with the raisins already in – if using raisins). DO NOT FILL MORE THAN 2/3 or they will go over and stick to the muffin tins. The filling puffs up while cooking.
- Bake tarts for 15 minutes at 400° F then reduce to 350° F for a further 10-12 minutes, until the tart shells begin to turn golden brown.
- Remove pan to a wire rack and let the tarts cool in the pan
- Once they are cool enough to touch, run a knife around each tart and remove from the pan, to a cooling rack to cool completely before serving. Enjoy!