Canadian Butter Tarts

Fillng by
Sara Bonisteel
•    Yield 1 dozen
•    Time 45 minutes, plus chilling and cooling

Source is NY Times here

Pastry by

Alton Brown. Adjusted for high altitude and my own gluten free based on the ingredients I had on hand the first time I made them.

Alton’s Recipe here

This is a combination of two recipes, one for the filling and one for the pastry. The pastry was serendipitous in that the first time I made the cookies I had to combine two different kinds of Gluten Free Flour, and I have stuck with it. The original pastry recipe would be enough for 24 tarts. So either cut the pastry in half or double the filling.


For the pastry:

For the filling:

•    ¼ cup/36 grams raisins (optional)
•    1 cup/220 grams packed brown sugar, light or dark (see Note)
•    ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
•    ¼ cup/57 grams unsalted butter, softened
•    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
•    1 large egg


Whisk together the gluten-free flour mixture, baking, powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Cream the sugar and butter together in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium-low speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs and extracts and continue mixing on medium-low until just combined, about 15 seconds more. Reduce the speed to low, add the flour mixture, and continue mixing until it is completely incorporated (add 1Tbsp water here just before mixing complete), about 30 seconds.

Divide the dough in half, shape into 4-by-6-inch rectangles, and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours or up to overnight.

When you’re ready to bake, remove half of the dough from the fridge and let sit on the counter for 10 minutes to soften. (If refrigerated overnight, it may take longer than 10 minutes to soften enough to roll.

Lightly dust a piece of parchment paper with powdered sugar, place the dough in the middle, then top with a second sheet of parchment. Roll the dough into a rough rectangle that’s 1/8-inch thick.  Use a 28 oz can of tomatoes to cut 4 inch circles. Take each cut piece and place in a flattened 4" parchment cup and then transfer to a muffin or cupcake pan. With the scraps left over from cutting, combine and reroll out to continue cutting until you have 12.

In a bowl, cover raisins with hot tap water, or hot brandy, to plump. Heat oven to 425°F (220° C).
Make the filling: In a bowl, mix brown sugar and salt, and then beat the butter into the sugar by hand until smooth. Add vanilla and egg and mix until combined. Do not use an electric mixer; it will add too much air to the filling.
Drain the raisins and place seven or eight raisins in each chilled tart shell.
Divide the filling evenly among the tart shells, filling each one about halfway. Place muffin tin on a baking sheet. Bake 13 to 15 minutes for a runnier tart and 17 to 19 minutes for a firmer one.
Cool for 5 to 10 minutes then romove to a rack to cool completely.


•    For a runnier tart, use 1/3 cup maple syrup, corn syrup or golden syrup plus 2/3 cup brown sugar.

DJ Samuels
Last update 10/22/20