By Sara Bonisteel
• Yield 1 dozen
• Time 45 minutes, plus chilling and cooling
Source is NY Times
There may be no more perfectly satisfying treat than a Canadian
butter tart. It is small and sweet, bracingly so, with hints of
butterscotch and caramel. And each bite delivers three textures:
flaky crust, chewy top, gooey center. While its exact origins may
never be found, the tart became popular in Ontario in the early 20th
century and spread across Canada thanks to its inclusion in the 1913
“Five Roses Cook Book.” Today there are numerous variations. Runny
or firm? Raisins or plain? This recipe can be adapted to please all
For the pastry:
• 1 ½ cup/191 grams all-purpose flour, more for
• Pinch of fine sea salt
• ½ cup/113 grams cold unsalted butter or lard
(103 grams), cubed
• ¼ cup/60 milliliters ice water
• 1 large egg yolk
• 1 teaspoon white vinegar
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
1. Make the pastry: In a large mixing bowl,
combine flour and salt. Using a pastry blender or your fingertips,
rub butter or lard into flour until mixture is in pea-size pieces.
2. In a small bowl, mix water, egg yolk and
vinegar until well combined. Add liquid to the flour mixture, using
a fork to combine. Add 1 tablespoon more water if it looks dry.
3. Knead dough several times by hand to bring it
together and shape into a flat square. Wrap with plastic and
refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
4. Once chilled, roll out the dough into a
16-inch-by-12-inch (40.5 centimeters by 30.5 centimeters) rectangle
about 1/8- to 1/4-inch (3 to 6 millimeters) thick. Flour the work
surface and rolling pin as you work with the dough.
5. Use a circular 4-inch (10 centimeter) cookie
cutter (or a clean 28-ounce/496 milliliter can) to cut 12 pieces.
Reroll dough if needed to cut more circles, but try to cut as many
pieces on the first pass. With your fingertips, press each circle
into the cup of a standard muffin tin, so that the edge of the dough
is flush with the pan. Refrigerate while while you make the filling.
6. In a bowl, cover raisins with hot tap water to
plump. Heat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
7. 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.
8. Drain the raisins and place seven or eight
raisins in each chilled tart shell.
9. 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.
10. A few minutes after removing the tarts from
the oven, run a knife or offset spatula around the edge of each tart
to loosen. Let cool completely in the tin. To remove, run a butter
knife or offset spatula around and under each tart to pop it out of
• For a runnier tart, use 1/3 cup maple syrup,
corn syrup or golden syrup plus 2/3 cup brown sugar.
Last update 10/12/20