Butter tarts (Tart au Sucre) are an extremely common dessert in Canada. Many versions are made, some are gooey while some are not, and different nuts, fruits, and other fillings can be used. Similar tarts can be found in the culinary traditions of Scotland and France.
- 1 cup shortening
- 1 large teaspoon butter or margarine
- 3/4 cup boiling water
- 3 1/2 cups pastry flour or 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
- 1/2 cup corn syrup
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 cup currants or raisins
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 2 teaspoons vinegar
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Mix up the shortening, butter, and water until creamy.
- While it's still creamy and not yet cold, sift in the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Mix gently until a dough forms. Try not to knead it while forming it into a large ball.
- Separate the dough into two equal portions and chill 20 to 40 minutes.
- Separate the dough into two dozen equal balls.
- Roll each ball flat, ready to be placed.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (175C).
- Beat the eggs well.
- Add sugar, syrup, and melted butter and beat again.
- Add the currants, walnuts, vinegar, salt, and vanilla extract and mix vigorously.
- Put a small amount of corn meal into tart tins, or count out 24 cupcake papers.
- Place flat circles of uncooked pie crust into the pans, or place the circles into cupcake papers and insert them into the pans.
- Fill the shells 2/3 full.
- Bake until the pastry is light brown, about 20 minutes.
Notes, tips, and variations
- Makes 4 dozen tarts.
- For runnier tarts, cook for 15 to 17 minutes.
- Replace the currants with coconut, or omit entirely
- Replace the walnuts with pecans, or omit entirely
- Drizzle 4 oz (120 g) melted chocolate over the cooked tarts
- This recipe (both the tarts and the pie crust) is a century-old recipe from rural North Western Ontario.
- If you are wanting a runnier tart (think old school Tim Horton's Butter Tarts) adjust 1 cup of corn syrup and 1 cup of brown sugar.
- If the top of the tart hasn't frothed while baking and formed a cream coloured crunchy top it means there was too much time between when you beat the mixture and when it started baking. If you have to do multiple batched in the oven with the same mixture be sure to keep it cool and keep stirring it to make sure the second batch has the traditional crispy top.
- Recipe source: http://www.boutell.com/vegetarian/butter-tarts.html