Instructables

Canadian Butter Tarts

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Picture of Canadian Butter Tarts
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Canadians will recognize these bite-sized tarts, as the sweet, buttery flavor combined with the perfect flaky crust is their own melt-in-your-mouth invention.
 
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Step 1: Pate Brisee

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For this recipe, we need one 9" crust and will use a 4" circle-shaped cookie cutter to get the needed 12 tart shells.  To get a flaky crust, the key is COLD. I refrigerate all of my ingredients, including the flour, salt, and sugar--especially the butter and water need to be COLD.  It is also key to work quickly to keep your dough from warming.

(I should mention that many of these pictures for the crust dough are reused from another of my instructables, Night Sky Blueberry Pie, as the ingredients and steps are all the same except doubled.  Even when only one 9" crust is needed, I still used the doubled amount, so I have another crust on standby in the refrigerator or freezer.)

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. granulated white sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
1/8 - 1/4 cup ice water

Combine flour, sugar and salt in a food processor (or bowl, if that is what you have to work with). Add butter and pulse to combine until resembles course crumbs, about 10 to 15 seconds (if using bowl, cut the butter in with a pastry blender). Add ice water in a steady stream, starting with just 1/4 cup. Process just until the dough pinches together (crumbs about the size of peas now). If necessary add a little more water until you get to this state. You should not need more than 1/2 cup nor require longer than 30 seconds processing.

Shape the dough into a flattened disc, wrap into plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. (The dough can be frozen for up to a month; thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.

Take the disc and roll it out onto your floured work surface until about 12" in diameter. Roll from the center out and rotate your crust quarter turns occasionally to avoid sticking. Using a 4" circle-shaped cookie cutter, cut out 12 pieces of dough and transfer each to a muffin pan.  You can re-roll out your scrap dough if you are short, but avoid it if you can, as over-worked dough results in toughness.  Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
mchambers13 years ago
I have made these a few times, everyone likes them! I have to make my own since I just can't pick them up at a grocery store like we could back home in Canada.
This recipe is great : )
sunshiine3 years ago
Thanks for sharing. Looks delicious.
blopez3 years ago
Yup, I'm a Canadian who knows and loves butter tarts. Might I suggest a few chocolate chips as well as or instead of the raisins.
BonnieF3 years ago
These are totally Canadian, although I've been seeing them in U.S. stores in the last ten years or so. I also remember them with (and make them with) dried currants. They are yummy!
I've never heard of these before, thank you so much for sharing this bit of Canadian culture with us! I will have to try making some :)
Len173 years ago
It doesn't seem right without the currants. My mother always put in dried currants.

I didn't realize that butter tarts were specifically Canadian. What about the other thngs my mother used to make? Is lasagna Canadian? What about fried zucchini blossoms?
makkan3 years ago
I just tried these after shoe horning the measurements into the metric system (I live in Sweden). Since I have no connection what so ever to Canada or the nations buttery tarts I can't really judge if I succeeded or not. However both my wife and I loved them!
I recognize these bite-sized tarts, as the sweet, buttery flavor combined with the perfect flaky crust is mine own melt-in-your-mouth invention.

...

I love these things! Especially without the raisins. Thanks!
MaXoR3 years ago
Canadian here, Born and raised in Manitoba. These are a Mennonite staple desert food. I have no clue where they originated, however they've been a part of family gatherings for as long as I can remember. Usually containing raisins throughout the filling with three in the center as a garnish for each.

I personally don't like them, however my fiance loves them thoroughly!! Thnx for bringing a little of my home to the masses!

EVERYONE MUST TRY THESE ONCE, SOME LIKE THEM, SOME DON'T.... but they are really buttery, with a sweetness to it if anyone is wondering.
ChrysN3 years ago
Yum, I think they're best without any filling, I often see them with currents which I can't stand.
mdeblasi13 years ago
How do they differ from a treacle tart?
caeric3 years ago
OMG!! I am a canuck by birth that moved down south for work. When I came across just pecan pies (which are wonderful btw) and asked locals where I can find pecan pies without the pecans....... I was looked at like I sprouted a third eye - Nice to stumble across a well-written recipe for a long-loved treat!
Oops! I was looking for a "Like" button for your comment. Wrong page, right yummy comment!

Anyone from Québec would recall the edgy teeth feeling on biting into a sugar pie. It is essentially the same as a butter tart but using maple sugar.
maltesergr83 years ago
Never had nor heard of these treats, but they sure do look delicious!! As soon as I get a chance to make these, will let you know.

Thanks for another great 'ible!!
kathrynl (author)  maltesergr83 years ago
Thanks! They're buttery and good.