Butter Tarts are a quintessential Canadian dessert that vaguely resemble the interior of pecan pie. This butter tart recipe can be enjoyed plain or with walnuts, raisins, or chocolate chips.
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When I was talking to my Aunt Lori (a Canadian) about the best Canadian food that I should make for the blog, her immediate response was “butter tarts.” Butter tarts, according to every Canadian I’ve ever talked to, are a Canadian obsession. They rest in the windows of most bakeries in Canada.
Today my Aunt Lori was kind enough to share her go-to butter tart recipe with us, a beautiful homage to her familial ancestry. The crust recipe comes from one grandmother while the filling recipe comes from her other grandmother. Can you image a recipe better than one that comes from two grandmothers?
The best part about this butter tart recipe is that it can customized however you’d like. From raisin, to walnut, to plain, to pecan chocolate chip, we are making all kinds of butter tarts on the blog today! Keep reading for more info on how to make these delicious treats!
Who Invented the Butter Tart Recipe?
Butter tarts, if I haven’t mentioned it enough already, are Canadian in origin. In the 1660s, 800 young women moved from France to Quebec, Canada. It is often thought that the butter tart originated from this move….
These women mostly likely tried to replicate one of their recipes from home: sugar pie. Of course, not all ingredients from France were accessible in Canada, so a variation of sugar pie, AKA the butter tart recipe, was born!
What are is this Butter Tart Recipe Made Out Of?
Dark brown sugar
Light corn syrup
Add ins (optional):
How to Make this Butter Tart Recipe
Whisk together flour and salt.
Add cold butter and lard and then use a pastry cutter to cut them into crumbs.
In a separate bowl, whisk together sour cream and ice water. Add into the dough with two more tsp of cold water and knead to combine.
Knead until a ball is formed, flatten (a little) into a disk, and wrap in saran wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
After refrigeration, roll out the dough until it ⅛” thick. Use a 4” cookie cutter to cut out 12 circles.
Place the circles lightly in a muffin tin, and press the edges inward until the pastry circle forms a bowl.
Place in the fridge for another 30 minutes.
Whisk your eggs in a bowl. Add the brown sugar, corn syrup, and melted butter and whisk together.
Add lemon juice and vanilla extract and beat.
Put it Together:
Spoon filling into pastry so that the pastry cups are ½ full. Also fill cups with add-in options if desired. You will have filling left over.
Bake at 325 for 20-25 minutes until the filling is set and the pastry is golden brown.
Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire cooling rack. Run a knife around the edges to release the tart.
How to Get Butter Tarts Out Of the Pan?
Aunt Lori gave me very specific instructions for making sure that your butter tarts come out of the pan alright.
First of all, be proactive in your approach. Don’t press the crust into the muffin tin. Instead, lay the dough across the muffin tin and gently push the sides in.
Secondly, be very careful not to get any filling between the crust and the muffin tin when baking. This will adhere the tart to the pan.
The third most important tip for getting the tart out of the pan is to run a thin knife around the perimeter of the tart before attempting to remove it from the pan. Once the tart starts to spin around in the pan as you move the knife, it is ready to be pulled out!
Can Butter Tarts Be Left Out? Can Butter Tarts Be Frozen?
Yes, you can leave your butter tarts in an airtight container on the counter for about two hours. After this, make sure to put your butter tarts in the fridge, for about 5 days. If you’d still like to keep your butter tarts for longer, they can last in the freezer for up to 6 months. Make sure to thaw them completely before enjoying!
That’s all! If you have any more questions for me about this butter tart recipe, drop them in the comments below. And if you make this recipe and like it, you might also like:
- Pumpkin Pie Filling Recipe
- Papaya Pie from Antigua and Barbuda
- Stuffed Apples with Walnuts and Caramel from Bosnia and Herzegovina
For more ways to experience Canada, check out my At Home Date Night in Canada post.
Butter Tart Recipe
- 1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ cup cold, unsalted butter cut into cubes
- ¼ cup lard, cut into cubes
- 2 tbsp ice water, plus more if necessary
- 4 tbsp regular sour cream
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup light or dark brown sugar
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- ¼ cup melted butter
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Chopped walnuts, optional
- Chopped pecans, optional
- Chocolate chips, optional
- Raisins, optional
- Whisk together flour and salt. Add cold cubed butter and lard to flour with salt.
- Use a pastry cutter to cut into fine crumbs with some larger pieces and set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together ice cream and sour cream until smooth. Add smooth mixture to “cut” pastry while stirring with a fork.
- Add 2 tsp extra ice water to pastry and knead to form a “ragged” dough ball.
- Place ball on saran wrap and press into a flat disc shape. Cover completely with saran and refrigerate for 30 minutes. You can refrigerate this dough for up to three days.
- Remove disk from refrigerator. On lightly floured surface, roll out pastry to ⅛” thickness. Lightly flour pin as needed.
- Using 4” cutter and cut into 12 circles. Do not be afraid to reroll scraps to cut all 12 circles. Fit into 12 muffin cup tins. Refrigerate for 30 more minutes.
- Beat eggs. Add brown sugar, corn syrup, and melted butter and whisk together.
- Add vanilla and lemon juice and beat. Set aside.
- Remove tart tin from refrigerator after 30 minutes. Add add-ins to pastry cups if desired. Spoon filling into each tart contained until each tart is ½-¾ full.
- Bake at 325 for 20-25 minutes until filling is set and pastry is a little golden brown.
- Remove from oven and place tart pan on an elevated wire cooling rack.
- Run thin knife around edges to release tart. Allow to completely cool approximately 30 minutes before removing tarts from tin.
- Store in airtight container for a few days. You can freeze your butter tarts for up to 6 months.
- Enjoy! Write a review on this post letting me know what you thought.