Pie · Tarts

Canadian Butter Tarts

Tiny tartlets of pure joy! Gooey sweet filling, currants and chocolate chips tucked into a flaky pie shell. # 287: Canadian Butter Tarts

Pastry discovery alert: these little beauties taste like mini pecan pies without the pecans. How have I never had them before??

After a bit of online research, there doesn’t seem to be any connection between Canada’s butter tarts and the pecan pies of the American South. Two groups of people just had the same great idea simultaneously!

That crispy chewy top and decadent filling are sweet enough to make your teeth fall out, but also go back and eat four more of them. You can apparently go on a self-guided butter tart tour in Ontario that includes fifty (!!!) locations, though I think I’d fall into a sugar coma after five.

They are incredibly rich, but there’s surprisingly no milk or cream involved. A step away from a custard, the filling is essentially a thick caramel with an egg mixed in. The mix-ins (raisins, chocolate chips or none at all) differ from recipe to recipe, as does the viscosity of the filling. Some recipes call for a longer baking time so they will be firmer, while some describe the drippy, gooey center as the ideal result. But of course, all of the recipes claim to be the classic version of a butter tart… so you get to pick what sounds yummiest to you! Win win.

Here’s a timely reminder to not be intimidated by pie crust. It can smell your fear. If you’re confident, your Thanksgiving pies will be amazing. I believe in you!

The lil splash of vinegar may smell weird when first added, but it’s gluten-inhibiting magic is worth it.

My kind of blank canvas.

How cute are these? They tucked into the muffin tin so perfectly.

Sugary, caramel-y goodness time.

I wish vanilla and brown sugar candles actually smelled like this bowl.

Ten points to Gryffindor if you noticed that this mini chocolate chip and orange-juice-soaked current mixture felt familiar. I had leftovers from the garibaldi biscuits and they lounged in my fridge, making eyes at the butter. I was about to make scones with them, but then a friend sent me the butter tarts recipe and knew it was meant to be!

Time for the moment of truth: putting a bake I’ve never tried before into the oven. Will it do exactly what the recipe says it will? Will it explode? I sway towards the dramatic, so always cross my fingers in case of the latter.

No explosions! Phew.

Each one cooked differently, some overflowing a tiny bit and some reaching a darker color, but that keeps them interesting.

Happy munching!

Recipe mostly from: https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1019129-butter-tarts?ds_c=71700000052595478&gclid=Cj0KCQiA99ybBhD9ARIsALvZavV4sgiWdkV3XlCDC-TBWMr-Bt7TTlJODb11NcVBSlra92Lo149g7fIaAmDCEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

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