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"A man who was fond of wine was offered some grapes at dessert after dinner. "Much obliged," said he, pushing the plate aside; "I am not accustomed to take my wine in pills."--Jean Antheleme Brillat-Savarin, The Physiology of Taste

Butter Tarts Recipe

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This recipe for Butter Tarts, by , is from Carol Gentry Cookbook, one of the cookbooks created at We'll help you start your own personal cookbook! It's easy and fun. Click here to start your own cookbook!

Carol Gentry, Courtesy of Sara Bonisteel, The New York Times


1 cups flour, plus more for dusting
Pinch of fine sea salt
cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
cup ice water
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon white vinegar

cup raisins (optional)
1 cup packed brown sugar, light or dark (see Note)
teaspoon fine sea salt
cup unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
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 rectangle about 1/8- to 1/4-inch thick. Flour the work surface and rolling pin as you work with the dough.
5) Use a circular 4-inch cookie cutter (or a clean 28-ounce 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 you make the filling.
6) In a bowl, cover raisins with hot tap water to plump. Heat oven to 425 F.
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 the tin.

Number Of Servings:
Number Of Servings:
Preparation Time:
Preparation Time:
45 minutes, plus chilling and cooling
Personal Notes:
Personal Notes:
Canadian butter tarts go back at least to the 19th century. They are a humble treat, made with ordinary ingredients, and spectacularly delicious. They are small and sweet, bracingly so, with hints of butterscotch and caramel. And each bite delivers three textures: flaky crust, chewy top, gooey center. There are as many theories about the origins of the tart as there are variations. The brown sugar pie, the Scottish border tart, Bakewell tarts and the Quebec sugar pie each has been named a predecessor to the Canadian tart. Today there are numerous variations. Runny or firm? Raisins or plain? This recipe can be adapted to please all partisans. Inventive cooks have gone further with chocolate chips, coconut, nuts, cranberries, and other add-ins.

Delicious served with vanilla ice cream.

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

Check out on Instagram: TartQuest




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