Monday, July 22

Canadian Butter Tarts Recipe ~ Cooking Up Memories

Sometimes we bake for fun, most often for need, and I think, sometimes just for the comfort of an old memory.  There is a small way to keep those loved ones and times that have passed on present with us. Food and Recipes enjoyed from another time always seem to bring us back to those people and places. The familiarity brings us comfort from times gone by. 

My Grandmother passed away many years ago, now, but sometimes I still feel her right next to me. Especially when I bake! My grandma loved food.  She loved feeding everyone! Since I have always loved to bake and share, almost as much as she, I am Blessed to have received her handwritten recipe book.  It is not like most recipe books you’ve seen mind you. Simple and to the point, her green little binder with college ruled paper was all she needed to store her “tried and true” recipes.  It’s actually a good thing that I know how to bake, because my grandmother didn’t always put instructions with her recipes. Some just a list of ingredients with a little note, “cook in cool oven”  or ”Best!” She would do this when she had several versions of a recipe, lest I’d be confused about which one she actually used. It never occurred to her to take out the other recipes. I think that’s what makes me enjoy it all the more. I have one of her hand-sewn aprons too, that I love to dawn, while baking, every once in a while. 

One recipe not actually in her book, that I know she made often and probably thought too obvious to write down were her Butter Tarts!  I think you will be pleasantly surprised by how much you like this tart!
In Canada, that’s where my family is originally from, Butter Tarts are as common as Apple pie is here in the US and there are as many ideas on how to make them as there are bakers! 
A Butter Tart at its simplest is a small tart usually made a dozen at a time in a muffin tin, with a butter pastry and a wonderful butter, sugar, egg, caramely filling.  That seems to be all most agree on. 

Depending on where you go, what province or town, you’d get the addition of raisins, or pecans, or walnuts, or just one or none.  Some people use a mixer, others swear they are not a true butter tart if not mixed by hand. 

I’ve actually done a lot of research on the subject of these sweet little treasures.  Though we know they’ve been around for centuries, the first person to actually write down and record a recipe wasn’t until 1900. 
“The earliest published Canadian recipe is from Barrie, Ontario, dating back to 1900 and can be found in The Women's Auxiliary of the Royal Victoria Hospital Cookbook, to which a Mrs. Mary Ethel MacLeod submitted the recipe for a butter tart filling, simply labeled as just "filling".” 

If you search the internet for a Butter Tart recipe I have no doubt you will find thousands and they will all be similar, but, like I said, they differ all over.  The recipe I’m sharing with you today is just an old family one that I find to be the best of what I’ve tried. As I said, tailor this recipe to your liking. Walnuts, Pecans, Raisins or plain, this is a very versatile recipe. No matter what you put in or keep out, I believe you will just love them
Preheat oven to 400F. 

I have a little trick that I do just to make sure my tarts are going to pop out of their tin, even if the caramel mixture goes over a teeny little bit.  Very lightly brush your tin, tops, in-betweens, etc. with a tiny amount of melted butter.  You know, where you brush it on and almost literally wipe it off? That much.

Basic Butter Tart Recipe:
½ cup Butter, room temp 
½ cup packed brown sugar 
½ cup white granulated sugar 
1-½ tsp vanilla 
2 large eggs 
Make a basic butter crust. If you don't have a good pastry recipe THIS one works quite nicely. Roll out your pastry, half at a time, to be sure you don't overwork it again. Similar in thickness to a pie shell, maybe a scant thinner. (If you don't have a 4 inch round cutter, you can cut out a little disc and use it as a templet) Place into muffin tin and set in the fridge. Be sure to keep your tart shells refrigerated until you’re ready to add the filling and pop in the oven. 

For the Filling: Combine butter and sugars in a bowl with a whisk. You really don’t need to plug in the electric one for this recipe but if you’re more comfortable with it you won’t hurt it either. 
Add your vanilla and the eggs, one at a time, whisking before and after adding the second. 
Fill your tart shells no more than ⅔ of the way or you will have a caramely mess.  Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Okay, so the question I always get… What do I put in my filling?  
See the picture below for that answer! 

Everyone has a favorite! I prefer plain or just a little chopped walnuts. As you can see, even in our own family, everyone has their own personal preference. Play with the filling! See what your favorite is!  I would absolutely love it if you would let me know what your favorite is!

34 comments:

  1. Theresa, I love these. And it's been too long since I've had one. My mother's family came to the US from England through Canada. Other branches of the family still there. I love your grandmother story. I was very close to both of mine and think of them every day.

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    1. Jean, I couldn’t be happier to get your comment. My parents were both born and raised in New Brunswick.
      Such a small world isn’t it?! I’m glad to share a recipe that you remember and enjoy. Maybe it’s time to make a batch again! Do you remember how your family made them?

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    2. I never had this and looking forward to it. Thanks for sharing.

      Cindy

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    3. Oh Cindy, You are in for a treat! I'm so glad you found me. :)

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  2. These look tasty, Theresa and how special that it's a family recipe. Those are such treasures.

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    1. Yes, Beverly it truly is a treasure. Thanks so much for the comment. They are SO good and not difficult to make. I hope you try them and let me know what you thought!

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    2. I will! I wanted to let you know these are featured at this week's Snickerdoodle Party. Thanks for sharing with us!

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    3. Wonderful! I can’t wait to hear what you think! Thank you so much for the feature!
      Happy weekend! ❤️

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  3. Hi Theresa, I love the tried and true family recipes, they are always the best ones. Can't wait to give these a try. They look so delicious!

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    1. Oh Michelle, I think you will just LOVE them, And, you are right the family "tried and true" are always the best. Thank you so much for popping by.

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  4. These look delicious! So I'm wondering. . . are they kind of like Southern pecan pie, just without the pecans? Or maybe like chess pie? I'm very curious to try these!

    Looks like your crust recipe suggestion is just pie crust made with butter; is that right?

    Thanks for sharing this with us! I would love to see your grandmother's recipe book!

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    1. LOL, Hi Richella, I'm so excited about your enthusiasm! Okay, so, no, it's not like a pecan pie. For one, these are only ever made as tarts, never a pie. Two, the ingredients are extremely similar, but the ratio of ingredients is completely different. I have never used corn syrup with a butter tart and brown sugar is a must, some don't use white sugar at all. You are correct the tart shell is your basic pie shell made with real butter. And, finally, I will try and see if i can take a decent image of Grandma's recipe book, if I can and get it added to the post I will definitely let you know.
      PLEASE try them, I think you'll really enjoy them! Pay attention to the muffin tin picture, very little chopped nuts and raisins, combined maybe a teaspoon.

      I hope you have a wonderful weekend, friend.

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  5. Thank you for sharing at #OverTheMoon. Pinned and shared.

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  6. Those butter tarts look delicious!Happy Pink Saturday!

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  7. Sounds delicious! This is one of our features are this week's Snickerdoodle Create Bake Make Link Party!

    Alexandra
    #294: https://eyeloveknots.com/2019/07/snickerdoodle-create-bake-make-link-party-294.html

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    1. Thank you so much, Alexandra! I’m honored and so very grateful.

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  8. Oooo these look so good, I have to be careful, pastries are my downfall and have been shying away for the past 2 years but once in a while I have to indulge!! Thank you for sharing on #omhgww this week!!

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    1. Karren, I think you will love them and it's not a huge batch so you could definitely watch yourself with them I alway make sure to make them when we're having a group of family around, then I KNOW I'm not going to get to have too much..LOL

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  9. I have never tried these but its so easy Ill try it soon.

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  10. These look utterly scrumptious! I'm so glad you linked up at Tuesday Turn About! Love seeing you there!

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    1. Thank you, Julie, It sure is fun to get to pop back around and visit with my own things. Thanks again for the party!

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  11. Theresa,
    I have never heard of these tarts before but they look so yummy. I love making my grandmother's recipes and it is so nice when you have all of those memories. Congrats, you are being featured on Over The Moon Linky Party.
    https://eclecticredbarn.blogspot.com/2019/07/over-moon-linky-party_28.html

    Hugs,
    Bev

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    1. Oh, Bev! Thank you so much. Yes, all those memorie are wonderful and bring me back to such a precious time in my life. I'm honored by the Feature. Thanks so much!

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  12. These tarts look delicious! I found you on You're the Star and would love to have you join the party on Farm Fresh Tuesdays today!

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  13. Thanks so much for this recipe. My Mothers family is from Newfoundland Canada and I never got to know anything about them. So I am constantly looking for Canadian recipes to try to educate myself on their recipes. I can't wait to add these to my collection!

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  14. Hi Theresa, I saw your post featured over at Full Plate Thursday and I just had to come by! I love Butter Tarts, and I so enjoyed reading your memories of your Grandmother. I was also interested to read more about the history of these sweet treats, which were so much a part of my childhood in Canada. If you have time, I'd love for you to share this post at The Hearth and Soul Link Party. It's the kind of post we are all about! I'm currently working on my late Mom's recipe for butter tarts, but can't quite get it to taste exactly as hers did. It's a delicious challenge trying to get it right!

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  15. Thank you for sharing this yummy recipe on Farm Fresh Tuesdays! Can't wait to see what you share next week!

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  16. Hmmm. I hope you got the comment I left you.

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  17. I don't think my original comment was received. Just wanted to let you know this post is being featured on my Pink Saturday post this week as "the one with the most clicks".♥

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    1. Hi Beverly! No, I’m just seeing your comments now! God bless you and thank you so much! I’m so humbled that sharing my Grandma’s sweet little Butter Tarts have been so well received. I’m tickled pink. 😊
      Thank you again!

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  18. Congratulations, your awesome post is featured on our Top Ten Features this week at Full Plate Thursday! Thanks so much for sharing with us and hope you will come back soon!
    Miz Helen

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I love, love your comments and I do read every single one. They totally make my day. If you have a specific question, make sure I can answer you back by adding your email to your google/blog account! Thanks so much for the visit.