Indulge in the quintessential Canadian delight with this Butter Tarts recipe! Featuring homemade pastry shells brimming with a luscious, caramel-like filling, enhanced by the choice of pecans or raisins. Perfect for those seeking a quick yet decadent treat with just 25 minutes of prep time.
Oh, Butter Tarts, where do I start? These little golden beauties are not just tarts; they’re a trip down memory lane. I remember my grandmother’s kitchen, the aroma of melting butter and brown sugar wafting through the air, heralding the arrival of these gooey, flaky morsels of joy. Every holiday, family gathering, or just because it was Tuesday, out came her trusty tart pan. As I’ve carried on the tradition, each tart is a tribute to those sweet, buttery memories, a legacy wrapped in pastry!
Why You’ll Love Butter Tarts
- Quick and Easy: With a total time of just 45 minutes, these Butter Tarts are perfect for busy bakers or last-minute dessert needs.
- Customizable: Whether you’re a fan of pecans or love the sweetness of raisins, this recipe lets you tailor your tarts to your taste.
- Canadian Classic: This recipe brings a slice of Canadian culinary tradition right to your kitchen, offering a taste of cultural authenticity.
- Versatile Vinegar: The optional white vinegar adds a subtle complexity, balancing the sweetness and making each bite irresistible.
Ingredient Notes For Butter Tarts:
Butter Tarts—a simple recipe with delightful outcomes. Key to its success are the quality of butter (unsalted for the pastry, salted for the filling) and the type of brown sugar (packed for that deep, caramel flavor). For a twist, try dark corn syrup for a richer taste. The flour should be all-purpose, lending the crust its perfect texture. As for the add-ins, both raisins and pecans have their charm, so choose according to your preference or mix them up for a delightful surprise!
How To Make Butter Tarts
Butter Tarts are a perfect blend of simplicity and deliciousness. The key is in the details, from chilling the dough to getting the filling just right.
- Preparing the Pastry: Combine flour, salt, sugar, and butter to form a crumbly mixture. Add cold water to bring it together. The magic here is in the temperature – cold butter makes the pastry flaky!
- Chilling the Dough: Wrap the dough and chill it. This step is crucial for easy rolling and a flaky crust.
- Shaping and Freezing: Roll, cut, and shape your tarts, then freeze them briefly. This helps maintain their shape during baking.
- Filling Magic: Whisk together the filling ingredients, balancing sweetness and texture. Ladle it into the tart shells thoughtfully – not too full, or you’ll have a bubbly mess!
- Baking to Perfection: Bake until the pastry is golden and the filling is just set. The aroma is your first clue to their readiness.
- Cooling and Serving: Let them cool in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack. Serve warm for a melt-in-your-mouth experience.
After enjoying these heavenly Butter Tarts, if you have leftovers (a big if!), they store wonderfully in the fridge for several days. For longer storage, freeze them! They’ll last for about 3 months in the freezer. Just remember to thaw them gently in the fridge before serving again.
Variations and Substitutions:
- Gluten-Free Twist: Swap the all-purpose flour for a gluten-free blend to cater to those with dietary restrictions.
- Sugar Variations: Experiment with different types of sugar, like coconut or muscovado, for a unique flavor profile.
- Nutty Flair: Pecans are great, but why not try walnuts or almonds for a different crunch?
- Fruit Frenzy: Raisins are traditional, but dried cranberries or chopped dried apricots can add a delightful twist.
- 1 ¾ cups of all-purpose flour approximately 227 grams
- 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- ½ cup of cold unsalted butter, cubed (about 112 grams)
- ⅓ cup of cold water
Butter Tart Filling:
- 1 cup of firmly packed brown sugar 190 grams
- ½ cup of golden corn syrup
- ¼ cup of melted salted butter
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon of white vinegar optional, to moderate sweetness
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- Optional: ½ cup of raisins or pecans
For the Pastry Tart Shells:
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Incorporate the cold butter using a pastry cutter or your fingers until the mixture achieves a crumbly texture, with the butter in pea-sized chunks. Alternatively, use a food processor to combine the flour, salt, and sugar, then add the butter and pulse until crumbly.
- Gradually mix in 2-3 tablespoons of cold water, handling the dough until it forms a cohesive ball. Add more ice water if necessary. In a food processor, add water and pulse until the dough starts to form a ball.
- Shape the dough into a thick disk and wrap it in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour or up to a week.
- Roll out the pastry on a large piece of wax paper to a suitable thickness.
- Use a circular cookie cutter, a large cup, or a small bowl to cut the dough into rounds of 3.5-4 inches in diameter.
- Place the rounds into a 12-cup muffin pan, gently pressing them into the bottom and up the sides of each cup. If any holes appear, repair them by pressing the pastry together. Then, freeze the pan for 10-15 minutes.
For the Butter Tart Filling:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius).
- In a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, corn syrup, melted butter, eggs, vinegar (if using), and vanilla extract.
- Carefully distribute the filling into the unbaked tart shells, filling each one evenly.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown and the filling has slightly puffed.
- Allow the tarts to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire cooling rack.
- Store the baked butter tarts in a refrigerator for several days or freeze them for up to 3 months.