Sunday, September 19, 2010

Butter Tarts

Our pie this week is actually our first cup-pie! Or tart, whatevs.

The butter tart is a really popular snack in Canada and you would be hard pressed to find a grocery store or even corner store that doesn’t sell them. In fact, in college (last time) I worked at a bakery and that’s all we made, butter tarts!

My fave filling is raisin but you will find plain, coconut, chocolate chip, even walnut and pecan versions out there. The beauty of this recipe to me is that you can make your shells and then fill each cup with different fillings before adding the butter tart filling. Like this :

We experimented with lots of different varieties.
Coconut & Coconut chocolate
Pecan & Pecan chocolate
The recipe we used is the one that my grandmother settled on after years of making butter tarts. At least that’s how I like to think she found it….she passed away when I was a baby but my aunt M.J. says this is the one!

Prize Butter Tarts
½ cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg, beaten
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp salt *
2 tbsp corn syrup *
½ cup raisins or chopped walnuts or other fillings

Make pastry into shells and chill.
Cream butter until soft, add brown sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add egg, milk, corn syrup and vanilla and mix until combined.

Mix in raisins OR if you want to make lots of different types of tarts add fillings to the tart shells and spoon filling over. Only fill 2/3 full because if you overfill the tarts will overflow and stick to the pans. Bad. Bake at 400 degrees until set and golden brown. Watch the tarts carefully toward the end as they can go from golden to burned quickly. Yields 12-15 tarts, depending on how many nuts or raisins you use.
Let cool before eating.

* The salt and corn syrup are my additions to the recipe. 

A note about crust. You can use whatever pie crust recipe you want...even those pre-made shells from the freezer section. I'm on a quest for the perfect crust recipe and this week's recipe was the all butter pie crust from this  page. Simply Recipes is a food blog I read and her recipes are usually great. This one did not disappoint. I made the pastry the night before and chilled it in the tins overnight. It was a crisp flaky crust that i'm sure i'll use again.

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