Butter tarts were my dad (Poppa)’s favourite. He was a pie guy generally and liked most things with a pastry crust. His mom knew it, as did his mother-in-law, so I have fond memories from childhood gobbling up their sweet and gooey treats. I am fairly certain he told both my nanas that their butter tarts were the best.
When my parents moved to Northumberland County he did his best to sample the butter tarts from all the local bakeries which he duly rated according to his taste. Betty’s on Hwy 2 got great reviews, but his top choice was Doo Doo’s Bakery in Ballieboro. It was Doo Doo’s tarts that we served at his funeral.
My dad died five years ago today. It will always feel like a sad day to me. So, to help us feel better (I say we, because let’s face it, when I’m blue, it definitely takes its toll on my family!) we’ve made it a family tradition to mark the day with butter tarts.
Here’s the recipe our family has settled on. It’s pretty basic and straightforward – which is key since the kids all want to get in there and help me make them. It’s a particularly buttery and gooey version. But hey, they are ‘butter’ tarts after all!
For the Pastry
- 2.5 CUPS ALL PURPOSE FLOUR
- 1 CUP SALTED BUTTER Cold and diced
- ENOUGH VERY COLD WATER
For the Filling
- 1/2 CUP BROWN SUGAR
- 1/2 CUP CORN SYRUP
- 1/4 CUP MELTED BUTTER
- 1 EGG
Make the Pastry
- Measure flour into a mixing bowl. Add the diced butter and use fingers to gently mix and and break up the butter until the texture of large flaked oats.
- Add water, drizzling very slowly and gently bring together until a dough forms into a ball. Do not add too much water.
- Wrap in beeswax wrap and chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
- Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface until 1/8 of an inch thick. Cut into rounds and place and shape rounds of dough into a muffin tin.
Filing and Assembly
- Add all filling ingredients to a mixing bowl and whisk until smooth.
- Fill each tart 2/3 full (don't over fill or they will overflow and the sugar may burn).
- Bake at 425 degrees for 12-15 minutes - until the pastry is golden.
- Chill completely before eating (I know, it's like torture).