Tarts are a seriously underrated dessert in my opinion. They are cute, easy to eat, and they have no shortage of my personal favorite part of any any pie: the crust. These Canadian butter tarts have a sweet center with a slightly “runny” texture which in this case is offset by the addition of raisins or nuts.
For this batch we actually used both, but you can add one or the other or none at all. You can also use chocolate chips instead if you so desire. At its most basic the Canadian butter tart has only the sweet syrup filling and crust, but you can make this wonderful treat any way you’d like. Many Canadians celebrate holidays with these tarts, but we think a good dessert is welcome the whole year round.
The magic starts with the crust and to make it you begin by mixing flour, brown sugar, and salt in a large bowl and then cutting in the butter. Then add in cold water 1 tablespoon at a time until a rough dough forms. Cut the dough in half and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
While the dough is chilling you can start on the filling. The filling isn’t all that different to a pecan pie pie filling, but this recipe uses both brown sugar and syrup for a rich flavor.
From there turn out your dough onto a worktop and roll it out flat. Using a 4″ cookie cutter cut out 12 rounds. Place place rounds in a greased muffin pans. Fill the crust cups with the filling and bake for 12-15 minutes. The tops of the tarts should be golden to golden brown.
The inside of these delectable cups are so sweet and rich and the crust melts in your mouth. It’s a perfect combination and we love how customizable this recipe is. The next time you’re craving pie, try these Canadian butter tarts for a change of pace.
Canadian Butter Tarts
Makes 12 tarts
40m prep time
15m cook time
For the crust:
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for flouring
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup cold butter, cubes
- 6-8 Tbsp ice water
For the filling:
- 3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup corn syrup
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup raisins or walnuts (optional)
To make the crust:
- Combine flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Cut in cold butter until a crumbly mixture forms or use a food processor on pulse until pea-sized pieces are formed.
- Add in cold water 1 tablespoon at a time and cut in with a fork. Dough make take more or less water depending on how dry the flour is. Add only enough water until dough loosely stays together and only mix until just combined. Try not to overwork the dough.
- Cut dough in half and form into 2 halves. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Turn first half of dough out onto floured work surface. Roll out dough and cut into rounds using a 4” biscuit or cookie cutter. Repeat with other half of dough until you have 12 rounds. Fit into standard muffin pan and place into fridge to chill.
To make the filling:
- Preheat oven to 425˚F. Pour each of the filling ingredients into a medium bowl. Mix well
- If adding raisins or nuts sprinkle them on the bottom of the dough cups. Next pour in filling to 2/ 3 full.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes or until tarts are golden on top and filling is beginning to set. Allow to cool before removing from pan.
Recipe adapted from Rock Recipes.