Food & Entertaining - Recipes

Old-fashioned butter tarts

Butter tarts are a Canadian favourite and we've got a classic recipe to curb your craving.


For the dough
  • 1-1/2 cups (200 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 7 tbsp (100 grams) very cold butter
  • 2 tbsp (30 grams) sugar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 egg, beaten with 2 tsp of water
For the filling
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp of light corn syrup

1 Sift the flour, sugar and salt directly onto a work surface (a cold surface such as marble works best). Cut the butter into small pieces. The butter must be very cold before you add it to the flour. Mix the butter into the flour using a pastry scraper. You can also use your fingers, but work quickly to ensure that the butter stays cold. Once the dough has the texture of coarse sand, create a well in the center by using a cup or glass.

2 Add the egg and water to the well. Using a fork, swirl the egg and slowly incorporate the flour into the centre. Once most of the flour has been incorporated you can start using your hands. Knead the dough into a round ball. At this point, take a small handful of the dough at a time, and, using the palm of your hand, smear it out completely onto the counter surface. This process makes sure that the butter is fully incorporated into the dough.

3 Repeat with the rest of the dough until you have a pile of chunks of dough. Gently knead and form into a flat disc. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and leave to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes. Take out 10 minutes before using.

4 In the meantime, make the filling. Place the raisins in a small bowl and cover with warm water. Leave to soak for 20 minutes. Drain well and reserve.

5 In a small saucepan on medium low heat, add the butter and sugar and stir until just melted. Add the corn syrup, vanilla extract and drained raisins. Beat in the eggs and whisk over the heat for 5-6 minutes or until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon.  Do not overcook.

6 Preheat your oven to 375F. Roll the pastry out onto a lightly floured surface and roll to about 1/4 inch thick. Cut out large circles of dough to fit individual mini tart molds. Butter the molds and gently place the dough inside. Pour in the filling until 3/4 full and bake for 15 minutes. Set to cool on a cooling rack and unmold a few minutes later.

Makes 8-10 mini tarts.

Check out our Scrumptious pie recipes for more delicious dessert ideas.

For more delicious recipes from Jennifer Bartoli, check out her blog, Chocolate Shavings.

Read more in Food & Entertaining and Recipes


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