These Classic Butter Tarts always remind me of Christmastime. A sweet pastry dough is filled with soaked raisins, chopped walnuts and a sweet and sticky filling of brown sugar, egg and vanilla filling. This recipe yields 40 sweet and nutty butter tarts.
It wouldn’t be Christmas without a platter of these classic butter tarts and I’ve been waiting all year to share these delicious bite-size treats with you.
This is my maternal Great Grandmother’s recipe and has been in our family for forever. What are butter tarts? Only the most delicious treat ever. Butter Tarts are a Canadian sweet tart, consisting of a buttery and flakey, cookie-like crust filled with tender, soaked raisins, chopped walnuts in a gooey brown sugar filling. Although some purists may say that adding raisins is a no-no, my Great Grandmother was Canadian so I’d say these are legit.
Besides, the raisins add delicious texture and flavor that you can’t deny.
To Make These Classic Butter Tarts You Will Need:
- dark brown sugar
- golden syrup
- melted butter
- white vinegar
- pure vanilla extract
- kosher salt
- recipe for pâte sucrée
Meanwhile, pour hot water over 1/2 cup raisins to cover and set off to the side to soak.
Next add 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/3 cup golden syrup into a mixing bowl. In my Great Grandmother’s recipe, she used corn syrup but I’m using Lyle’s golden syrup instead.
What is golden syrup?
It’s a thick syrup made from sugar cane. Whereas corn syrup is made from cornstarch. It’s a personal preference and either will work wonderfully in this recipe!
Crack in 1 egg, pour in 3 tablespoons melted and cooled butter, 1/2 tablespoon both vinegar and vanilla and a pinch or two of kosher salt. Whisk to combine.
Next, roll out the dough to 1/8th to 1/4-inch thick. Full disclosure, I never really measure thickness and just eyeball it. Then use a 2-1/2 inch biscuit cutter, bonus points if it has a scalloped edge, and stamp out as many dough rounds as possible up until 24. Lastly, wrap up the leftover scraps and refrigerate. You’ll eventually roll them back out and then stamp out more rounds until you have 40 butter tarts total.
Then gently, press the dough rounds into a nonstick mini-muffin pan. Drain the raisins and grab a 1/2 cup chopped walnuts and filling.
Next, place 1 to 2 of the raisins and a few chopped walnuts into the center of each min-tart shell.
Then measure a teaspoon or so of the filling and drizzle it over top of the walnuts and raisins.
Next, slide the pan onto the middle rack off your preheated 400° and then bake for 10 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through.
In those 1o magical minutes…
The crust puffs and crisps, and will be golden brown, the filling is gooey and luscious hiding the raisins while exposing the crunchy walnuts.
Finally, remove the pan and allow the tarts to cool a few minutes. Then, using an offset spatula to remove each one to a wire rack to cool. If the filling spills over, that’s okay! And it’s easier to remove the tarts if they’re still warm, instead of waiting for the filling to harden and stick to the pan.
The perfect one-biter.
Classic Butter Tarts
- 1 recipe easy pâte sucrée
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/3 cup golden syrup, or substitute corn syrup
- 3 tablespoons melted, and cooled butter
- 1½ teaspoon distilled white vinegar
- 1½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- pinch of kosher salt
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
- Place the raisins in a heat-safe bowl. Pour hot water over top, set of to the side to soak.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the egg, brown sugar, golden syrup, melted butter, vinegar, vanilla and salt. Whisk to combine.
- Preheat your oven to 425°.
- Roll the dough out to a 16x12" rectangle and using 2-1/2" biscuit cutter, stamp out as many circles up to 24.
- Press the cutouts into a mini muffin pan. Collect the remaining dough scraps, wrap in plastic wrap and place back into the fridge.
- Drain the liquids from the raisins. Fill the mini pie shells with a couple soaked raisins, a few chopped walnuts and 1 teaspoon or so of the filling.
- Place the pan onto the middle rack of your preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes, rotate the pan halfway during baking.
- Once baked, allow to cool for 5 minutes before using a offset spatula to remove each butter tart.
- Once the pan has cooled a bit, repeat with the remaining dough, raisins, walnuts and filling until you have a total of 40 tarts.
Easy Pâte Sucrée (Sweet Pastry Dough)
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out the dough
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- pinch fine salt
- 1/4 cup ice cold water
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- Dice the butter into small cubes and freeze for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt. Drop in the butter and use a pastry blender to cut it into the flour/sugar.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the water (no ice), egg yolk and vinegar. Pour this into the bowl with the dry ingredients and use a spatula to combine. Then knead until the dough comes together, adding a little more water if needed.
- Shape and wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes.
- Dust a clean surface and your rolling pin with flour.
- Roll out the chilled pâte sucrée to fit a pie plate, tart pan or simply stamp with a biscuit cutter for mini-pies or tarts. Whatever your plans, follow the recipes instructions for the oven temperature and baking times.
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