Canadian Butter Tarts

This post is in honor of the Vancouver Canucks and all their fans (except for the ones who were lighting cop cars on fire).  For those of you (aka Americans) who have no idea what I'm talking about; game 7 of the Stanley cup (that's the hockey playoffs) happened yesterday and Vancouver lost to the Boston Bruins and some of the Vancouver fans took it rather badly.  But no reason to be sad when you've got these sweet little morsels to cheer you up until next year.

These butter tarts are apparently a Canadian delicacy.  I had never heard of them until my boyfriend (who is Canadian) brought them up (on multiple occasions).  He says these are the only thing he can bake.  And they are really easy and totally amazing.
These tarts are basic pie crust filled with a filling of butter, sugar, vanilla and cream.  Hard to go wrong with those ingredients.  As always, the trick to flakey pie crust is to handle it as little as possible and use cold ingredients (butter and ice water).  You could make them in a larger tart pan or as bar cookies in a rectangular pan if you don't like the extra work of making the little ones.
This filling is basically magic.  I didn't get to try one of the finished tarts, but if my boyfriend and his co-workers are to be believed and if this filling is any indication, they are amazing.  And no, I didn't eat the filling with a spoon; I only tasted it.  A few times.  My boyfriend says they don't come with pecans but I think pecans are delicious so I am standing by that decision.

Canadian Butter Tarts

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled, and cut into 1 inch pieces
1/8 to 1/4 cup ice water
1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup cream
1/4 cup raisins (optional)
2 tbsps Canadian Whiskey (optional)
1/4 cup toasted and chopped pecans (optional)
1. For the crust: whisk flour, salt and sugar together until combined. Cut in butter with two knives or a pastry cutter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Mix in 1/8 (2 tbsp) of water. Dough should just hold together when pinched. Add more water (up to 1/4 cup total) if necessary.
2. Gather dough into a ball, then flatten into a disk and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about 1 hour.
3. After the dough has chilled sufficiently, place on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough and cut into 12 - 4 inch rounds. Gently place the rounds into a 12-cup muffin tin and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
4. For the filling: Place raisins in a small bowl with the whiskey and allow to soak for 20 - 30 minutes. If you aren't using pecans, feel free to use up to 1/2 cup raisins. You can also make this with no raisins or pecans.
5. Cream the butter and sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time then add the vanilla extract. Stir in the cream.
6. When crust is chilled, drain raisins and distribute raisins and pecans between the muffin tins. Fill the unbaked shells with the butter mixture.
7. Bake in a 375F degree oven for 15 - 20 minutes, until the pastry is nicely browned and the filling is set. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

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From Joy Of Baking


  1. Haha. You should make them for tomorrow, July 1, which is Canada day.