Maple Butter Tarts!
Originally published December 7, 2010. Updated on 6/17/2021
As I'd mentioned back in my Poutine recipe post, my coming out of the closet as an immigrant has had quite the positive effect on this blog.
Well, today I'd like to introduce you to another delicacy from my homeland - Butter Tarts!
Maple Butter Tarts
Yep, these are the goodies mentioned in Len's "Steal my Sunshine" (in the radio version, anyway, not this video!).
They've been around forever, and you can get them anywhere in Canada... Tim Horton's.. gas stations.. even boxes of factory-made ones, sort like Little Debbie stuff.
Because they've been around forever, there are about a million versions of it. Some use brown sugar, some use white... most use corn syrup, I use maple... you get the idea.
What is a Butter Tart?
Butter Tarts are one of Canada’s national dishes, and beloved pretty much across the country.
There are entire festivals - many of them! - dedicated to this particular pastry, too!
It’s a fairly standard pie / pastry crust, filled with a sugar, syrup, and egg mixture, baked. The filling ends up something like a pecan pie filling, only a bit less firm
Corn syrup or maple syrup can be used for the syrup part, clearly maple is the appropriate choice, IMHO.
Then, there’s the matter of raisins. This is a matter of serious debate in Canada.
Some people think that there shouldn’t be anything aside from the syrup mixture, or that nuts are the only acceptable addition.
These people are WRONG. LOL.
IMHO, it’s not a butter tart without raisins.. And the more, the better! None of this 2-3 raisins nonsense in the mass-produced grocery store butter tarts.
This recipe is one of many fantastic Canadian recipes in my cookbook, "More Than Poutine: Favourite Foods from my Home and Native Land”.
"More than Poutine" is a Canadian cookbook like no other - written by a Canadian living away, it includes both traditional home cooking recipes, as well as accurate homemade versions of many of the snacks, sauces, convenience foods, and other food items that are hard to come by outside of Canada!
More Canadian Comfort Food!
Whether you’re a Canadian in the US or not, we could all use some comfort food these days. Here are some Canadian Favourites!
Canadian Popcorn Seasoning Recipes
Dill Pickle Dip
French Canadian Pea Soup
Halifax Meat Paste Egg Rolls
Homemade Deep N Delicious Cake
How to Make Peameal Bacon and Back Bacon
Poutine, My Way!
Puffed Wheat Squares
Tiger Tail Ice Cream
Looking for even more Canadian recipes? Check out our full Canadian Recipes list!
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Well, the published nonsense, anyway!
Maple Butter Tarts
- 12 pre made tart shells, pie crust, or 1 batch pastry crust (recipe follows)
- 1 ¼ cups All-Purpose Flour
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 1 tablespoon Granulated Sugar
- ½ cup Unsalted Butter chilled
- ⅛ to ¼ cup Ice Water
- ½-1 cup Raisins
- ⅓ cup Unsalted Butter softened
- 1 cup Light Brown Sugar packed
- ¼ cup Maple Syrup
- 3 Large Eggs whisked
- Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C)
- Combine flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor. Chop chilled butter into small cubes, add to flour mixture, and process 15-20 seconds, until it resembles fine gravel.
- While running processor, stream ⅛ cup of ice water into the flour mixture, just until dough holds together when pinched. If necessary, add more water.
- Dump dough out onto a work surface, gather into a disk shape. Wrap with plastic wrap, chill for 1 hour.
- Lightly flour your work surface, roll chilled dough out pretty thin – ⅛″ to ¼″, depending on your tastes – some prefer a thinner shell, some thicker. Cut 4″ rounds from the pastry – you’re aiming for 12.
- Carefully transfer the pastry rounds to a muffin pan. I like to flatten the bottom against the tin, and work out from there, flattening the whole round to be flush with the muffin pan cavity – it holds the most filling! Feel free to get decorative about it – flattening the bottom of the dough against the muffin pan, gently ruffling the edges… it’s up to you! Chill the pan of prepared tart shells until ready to use.
- Prepare tart shells recipe, if using. If using pre made pie crust, roll cut out and prepare tart shells per directions in the tart shells recipe below.
- Divide raisins among tart shells – I personally like to have a fair amount of raisins in my buttertarts, so I use 1 cup. (½ cup is probably closer to average!). Set aside.
- Combine butter, brown sugar, and maple syrup in a medium saucepan. Beat until smooth. Add in eggs, beat once more until well combined.
- Heat mixture on medium, stirring constantly. Bring mixture JUST to a boil, remove from heat. Carefully pour mixture into prepared tart shells.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, until filling has set and the pastry is lightly browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool. These are usually served at room temperature, but some prefer them chilled! Makes about 12 tarts.