Gooey and delightful, butter tarts are a staple treat at any Canadian holiday—usually Christmas, but I’ve seen them at Thanksgiving and Easter as well. I actually had no idea that they were a Canadian speciality until I moved to Australia and my tart-loving family-to-be had no idea what they were. Check out these other Canadian recipes too: Nanaimo bars, pumpkin pie, tourtière, and maple syrup pie!
There are two main varieties of butter tarts—those with “impurities” such as raisins or pecans, and those without. I guess I’m a purist because I prefer them without the added bits, but I’ll let you decide for yourself! I did cheat a bit for these ones and used pre-made pastry, which made making these an absolute cinch. But man pre-made pastries come with a lot of packaging. Blech—you sure pay for that convenience.
And I’m so sorry for not posting recently! There are happy reasons for this. One, I just started a new job doing online marketing for Good Return, a non-profit that does microfinance in the Asia Pacific. The transition from working at home to being in an office full time has made me a bit shy of time to do my normal photos & recipes… but never fear, a new balance will soon be reached! I was also back in Canada for three weeks visiting with friends and family, and doing lots and lots of wedding planning. (I’m sure you’ll hear plenty about that as time wears on!) Anyway, without further ado, let’s get this show back on the road.
Cooking time: 20 minutes
- 12 premade shortcrust pastry tart bases
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup honey, golden syrup, or corn syrup
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp each vanilla extract and white vinegar
- 1/4 cup currants, raisins, pecans, or coconut (optional)
Optional: If using raisins or currants, soak in a few tablespoons of warm brandy, rum, or triple sec for about 20 minutes before using.
Preheat oven to 400 F / 200 C. In a microwavable bowl, soften 2 tbsp of butter and whisk together with the sugar until creamy. Add the honey or syrup, egg, vanilla, vinegar, and a pinch of salt and mix well. If using extra fillings, divide these between the pastry shells now. Spoon the liquid mixture over top.
Bake for 12-15 minutes or until filling has gone golden and is bubbling. Let cool and enjoy!