October 10, 2011

{Sweet Treats} Maple Butter Tart Recipe for Canadian Thanksgiving

Today's Columbus Day here in NYC, but back home in Canada, it's Thanksgiving Day.  Because Thanksgiving in the U.S. doesn't happen until late November, I typically have a tough time recreating an authentic Canadian Thanksgiving here.  We couldn't find cranberries nor whole turkeys so we opted to roast a whole duck instead, served with tons of potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, and butternut squash.

But for dessert, I decided to bake a thoroughly Canadian sweet treat: Butter Tarts.  For me, these tarts are nostalgic. My parents would usually buy them from the grocery store and my brother and I devour them after dinner. Butter Tarts are similar to Pecan Pies - but instead of pecans, these tarts usually have raisins in them and the filling is slightly runnier. 

I used this award-winning recipe as inspiration. The biggest change I made was that I used Canadian Maple Syrup (a gift from my mom after she recently visited Quebec) instead of corn syrup.  I love the sweetness of these tarts combined with flaky crust. If you're a fan of pecan pies, give these butter tarts a try!

Butter Tart Recipe (makes about 20 tarts)

Tart Dough:
    1 cup ounces unsalted butter, softened
    3/4 cup granulated sugar
    1 pinch kosher salt
    3 large eggs
    3 cups pastry flour (you can substitute with 3 cups all-purpose flour)

    1. Cream the butter, sugar and salt together.
    2. Add the eggs and mix until combined.
    3. Add the flour and mix until it all comes together.
    4. Wrap in plastic and chill thoroughly (at least 1 hour) before using.

Butter Tart Filling:
Tart dough
1 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup soft butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 pinch salt
1 cup pure maple syrup
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
    1 teaspoon Bourbon Vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Prepare muffin pans by rolling out pie dough and cutting 4-inch (approx) circles; fit dough circles into muffin cups; set aside in fridge until ready to fill.
  3. In a small bowl, place raisins and cover with hot tap water; let stand on the counter for 30 minutes. This will plump them up.
  4.   In a large bowl, using a wooden spoon, mix together the soft butter, brown sugar, salt and maple syrup; stir well until sugar is dissolved and butter is creamed.
  5. Add eggs and vanilla, then mix well.
  6. Drain raisins.
  7. Retrieve tart shells and divide raisins equally into all shells; then divide butter mixture into all tarts.
  8. Bake at 400F for 15-20 minutes; filling will be lightly browned but still bubbling.
  9. Canadians fall into two camps about butter tarts and are quite loyal to their favourite type: runny or firm.
  10. For runny (the type that dribbles when you bite into one) tarts, you can take them out of the oven after about 15 minutes.
  11. For firm tarts, bake them for the full 20 minutes, even adding another minute or two if you wish.
  12. Let cooked butter tarts cool in pans for 10 minutes after removing from oven; then remove and place on racks until completely cool.
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  1. these look and sound divine! who wouldn't want a butter tart after an incredible thanksgiving meal? yum... i'll have to save this recipe for the US holidays coming up. ;) 

    Happy Thanksgiving! 

  2. Thanks Lillian! It was a big hit at the office too. Bet yours would be excellent!


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