I normally am a huge fan of anything chocolate, but another surefire way to get my tastebuds tingling is to serve me a plate of butter tarts! Butter tarts are traditionally a Canadian treat (I honestly didn’t know this until I researched it a few weeks ago), but they’re enjoyed all around the world. To those of you who have never had the pleasure of eating one, butter tarts are essentially pastries filled with a gooey, caramel-like filling. When baked correctly, the filling will be solid, but soft, so it doesn’t ooze out all over the place.
I made large butter tarts, using a regular muffin tin, but you can also use a mini muffin tin for miniature butter tarts. Both are equally delicious! Below you can see the tray lined with the pastry dough. Be sure to grease your tray before placing the dough inside, so the tarts can be easily removed after baking.
One of the things that bothered me when looking for butter tart recipes to try, was that most of the recipes required corn syrup as the primary ingredient for the filling. I’m of the belief that too many of our consumer products these day are filled with corn, and I like to avoid if at all possible. Instead, I made my filling using a combination of maple syrup, butter, and brown sugar, for a healthier alternative (well, as healthy as humanly possible bearing in mind that this is a butter-filled dessert, after all).
One thing that I omitted in my butter tarts are the raisins and nuts that are commonly added into the filling. I personally like my butter tarts smooth and plain, without any of these additions. Feel free to add these additions to your butter tarts, however!
The recipe for the butter tarts can be found below. If you’d like a printer-friendly version, you can download the recipe here: Butter Tarts Recipe.
Butter Tarts Recipe
- 2 ¼ cups Cake and pastry flour
- 2 tbsp Sugar
- ½ tsp Salt
- 1 cup Cold unsalted butter (cut into pieces)
- 6 tbsp Cold water
- 1 tbsp Lemon juice or vinegar
Butter Tart Filling:
- ½ cup Unsalted butter
- 1 cup Dark brown sugar (packed)
- 2 Eggs
- ½ cup Maple syrup
- 1 tbsp Lemon juice
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp Salt
- Sift the flour, sugar and salt into a bowl. Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter or an electric mixer with a paddle attachment. The butter has been worked in when only small bits are visible and the mixture appears to be a pale yellow.
- Stir the water and lemon juice together and add the entire amount to the dough. Mix until the dough comes together. Shape the dough into 2 logs, cover with plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Remove dough 20 minutes before rolling.
- Cut each log of dough into 6 pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll each piece out to just under ¼-inch thick. Use a round cookie cutter, a bowl, or a cup that is 4-5 inches in diameter to cut each piece of dough into a circle.
- Place each piece of pastry dough into a lightly greased muffin tray. Place the lined tray in the refrigerator to cool as you prepare the filling.
- Melt the butter and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the mixture is bubbling, then remove it from the heat.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the maple syrup, lemon juice, vanilla, salt, and eggs together. Slowly add in the hot mixture and continue to whisk until the mixture is combined. Spoon or pour the filling into each pastry shell.
- Bake the butter tarts at 400º F for 10 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 375º F and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes. The butter tarts are done when the filling is bubbling and the edges of the crust have browned.
- Remove from the oven, and after cooling for 5 minutes, twist the tarts in the pan to prevent them from sticking. Keep the tarts in the pan until they have cooled completely.
To watch a step-by-step tutorial of how these butter tarts are made, check out my YouTube video below. Don’t forget to subscribe to my channel!