Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Butter Tarts

Ah the butter tart..... Wha? Butter tart? Those to the south of us here in Canada may be a little mystified. Don't fret!

It's not a tart made of butter (although that does sound good). It is a main ingredient, it's sort of like a mini pecan pie, minus the pecans. I use raisins in mine, although there are many variations that include: chocolate chips, walnuts, maple syrup, you name it!

I remember my mom making this recipe as a young boy, I'd watch her roll the dough, press it into muffin tins and then fill. I'd devour as many as I could as soon as they were cool enough to eat. After mom passed there were a few recipes I needed to find. This was one of them. I will give it to you as written, but I have made things a little easier on myself and will add my notes after the recipe.


1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup of raisins
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1 cup corn syrup
2 eggs slightly beaten
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

  1. Prepare sufficient pastry and roll out on a floured surface. Cut with a floured cookie cutter and line 12 medium sized muffin cups. Do not prick.
  2. In a bowl, pour boiling water over the raisins and let them plump, then drain.
  3. Arrange raisins equally in the tart shells.
  4. Mix together the butter and brown sugar, then add corn syrup, beaten eggs, salt and vanilla. Mix just until blended.
  5. Spoon into unbaked tart shells over the raisins, filling each to about 2/3 full.
  6. Bake on the middle rack of a preheated 375°F oven for 15 to 18 minutes. Do not allow filling to bubble over.


I occasionally use 3 inch pre-made shells and there is too much filling to make 12 tarts. I'd suggest plumping 3/4 to 1 cup of raisins and trying for 24 tarts (if using the store bought tart shells). Try not to let the filling sit for too long once it's prepared, it begins to separate. If it does, whisk it back together. The filling will puff up when they are close to being done, keep an eye on them. Once they cool, the filling will shrink back into the shells.

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