I was quite an age before I realized that Butter Tarts were a Canadian thing. I’ve learned since that other variations of Butter Tarts, such as Pecan Tarts exist elsewhere but the pure Butter Tart, with or without raisins, remains a bit of home.
Back in 2002, the LCBO’s Food and Drink magazine featured the Butter Tart recipe from the Humble Pie Bakery in Baysville, Ontario.
As I am quite familiar with Baysville, I can tell you with authority that the Humble Pie Bakery no longer exists. But thankfully, their recipe lives on! Summer 2010: The Humble Pie Butter Tart Factory is back in Baysville, Ontario! If you can’t make it to Baysville, you can still try their recipe at home.
I’m also adding my Mom’s Pecan Tart recipe, which, having sampled many, I can assure you are very, very, runny good! They can be made with or without the pecans on the top.
(Pecan Tart Recipe below)
Summary: This is Baysville chef Wesley Edwards’s original, runny butter tart recipe. Use a nonstick muffin tin for ease of removal, otherwise butter the tins. Freezing butter tarts for 5 minutes after cooling makes removal from the tins easier.
- 1 1/4 cup (300 mL) vegetable shortening
- 1/4 cup (50 mL) unsalted butter
- 4 cups (1 L) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) salt
- 1/4 cup (50 mL) cold water
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup (250 mL) packed brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
- 1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) vinegar
- 1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/4 cups (300 mL) corn syrup
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) raisins
- 1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
- 2. Cream shortening and butter together by hand or with electric mixer. Sift in flour and salt. Mix until crumbly. Stir in enough cold water to make a soft dough. Knead together for 30 seconds or until dough comes together.
- 3. Roll dough out between two sheets of parchment or waxed paper, until 1/8-inch (3-mm) thick. Cut into 4-inch (10-cm) circles to fit muffin pans. Ease into muffin pans. Chill for 30 minutes.
- 4. Cream together butter, sugar and salt. Add vinegar, vanilla, eggs and corn syrup. Don’t over-mix. Chill for 30 minutes. Stir together before filling tarts.
- 5. Fill each pastry shell with 1 tsp (5 mL) raisins. Spoon about 1/4 cup (50 mL) syrup mixture into every cup. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in pans on a rack. The tarts take approximately 2 hours to set; refrigerate to speed up the process. With a small, sharp knife cut around tarts and ease out of tins.
- Makes 12 to 14 large butter tarts.
- LCBO Food and Drink Autumn 2002
- By: Wesley Edwards; Chef of Humble Pie Bakery, Baysville
Prep time: 15 min | Cook time: 30 min | Total time: 1 hour 15 min
Number of servings (yield): 12
Summary: This is my Mom’s recipe for pecan tarts. They are just like butter tarts … except with pecans in them.
- Prepared Unbaked Tart Shells
- (Use your own recipe, try the one above or try my Mom’s, which is always 1 cup Crisco shortening, 3 cups Monarch Cake and Pastry Flour, mix with pastry blender, make well in center and add 5 Tbsp. ice water.)
- 1 cup corn syrup
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2 eggs
- Pinch salt
- 1/2 cup raisins, plumped (instructions below)
- 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
- * To plump raisins, put raisins in a 1 cup measure and add very hot water, enough to cover raisins. Let stand at last 5 minutes.
- Combine corn syrup and brown sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Simmer for 2 minutes. Add butter and vanilla. Let cool.
- In a separate bowl, beat eggs and pinch salt. Add to sugar mixture.
- Put plumped raisins *(see above for how to plump raisins) in shells. Fill with sugar mixture. Sprinkle with chopped pecans.
- Bake at 425° F. for 5 minutes, then at 350° F. for 5-10 minutes (watch for done-ness here)
Prep time: 15 min | Cook time: 15 min | Total time: 1 hour
Number of servings (yield): 12