Canadian Butter Tarts
by Lily Ernst

Canadian Butter Tarts Serves: 6.
Preparation time: 45 minutes. Total: 100 minutes.

  • For the Pastry
  • 3 C. All-Purpose Flour
  • ½ t. Baking Powder
  • ½ t. Salt
  • ½ C. Lard
  • ½ C. Unsalted Butter
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1 t. White Vinegar
  • ¾ C. Cold Water
  • For the Filling
  • ¾ C. Packed Brown Sugar
  • ⅓ C. Unsalted Butter
  • 1 T. Whipping Cream
  • 1 t. Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Large Egg
  • ½ C. Chopped Walnuts, Raisins or Chocolate Chips (Optional)
• In a large bowl, mix the Flour, Baking Powder and Salt. Cut in the ½ C. Lard and ½ C. Butter using a pastry blender or two knives. Mix them all together. Using a cup, combine the Whole Egg, Vinegar and Cold Water. Gradually stir in the liquid adding just enough to make the dough cling together.
• Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gather into a ball, then divide it into two equal portions. Tightly Saran wrap each ball. Place one in the freezer and the second in the refrigerator for one hour.
• After one hour, roll the second dough ball on a floured surface and roll until it is about ⅛ inch thick. Cut as many 4" circles as you can with a wide mouth glass or a ring. Re-roll the scraps and cut more circles to make a total of 12. Fit the circles into a 12 well muffin pan and place them back in the refrigerator until ready to fill.
• Preheat the oven to 375°F and position the rack to the lower third of the oven. In a small saucepan, melt the ⅓ C. Butter and Brown Sugar together. Remove from heat and stir in the Cream and Vanilla. Let cool 5-10 minutes. Whisk in the Egg.
• If using Chopped Nuts or Raisins or Chips, divide them among the bottom of the pastry shells from the refrigerator. Fill each shell half way with the filling.
• Bake for 13-15 minutes or until the crust is lightly golden brown around the edges and the filling is bubbling. Let cool to room temperature on a rack. When cool, flip the muffin pan upside down with the rack and tap the bottom to dislodge the Tarts. Serve two per guest. These can be served room temperature or warmed in the microwave for a few seconds. Save the frozen dough for more Tarts or other Pastry Project some day. Just thaw overnight at room temperature.


"Butter Tarts" - Said to have started in the French city of Québec in the 1600s. Others claim that the Tarts originated in more British Ontario. You be the judge. Do they seem more English or French?

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