Next best Canadian Butter Tarts

Update: quite a number of folks have arrived at these pages searching for a butter tart recipe, so I’m reposting and opening comments to get your feedback. Enjoy!

As I’ve recently mentioned, Butter Tarts are a quintessentially Canadian dessert. They are rich gooey, tasty little mini pie confections that should be savored with care – you might need a plate or napkin to catch the drips. For even gooier tarts, substitute 1/2 cup corn syrup or maple syrup for half the brown sugar. I’m not great at making pastry so I use refrigerated pie crust – no apologies to purists. My Mom’s version is my favorite, but here’s another version to try.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cold shortening or butter, cut into cubes
1/2 tsp salt
2 T cold water, or

(1 pkg ready-to-bake pie crust; remove from refrigerator 15 minutes before use)

1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup each: raisins, chopped walnuts


Scratch Pastry:
In food processor, combine flour, shortening or butter, salt, with on/off pulses until crumbly. Gradually add water, just until ball forms. (Add up to 1 T more water if dough is too dry.) Turn onto work surface, press together to form ball, flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic, chill 30 min.

In medium bowl, beat together butter, brown sugar and egg until light. Add vanilla, salt. Stir in raisins, walnuts.

Remove each disk from wrap, unfold pastry, remove top sheet of plastic and gently flatten folds with fingers. Using cookie cutter, cut into 3-inch circles and line muffin cups. Fill each cup no more than 2/3 full (about 1 T filling). Makes 12-15 medium tarts.

Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut into 3-inch circles and line muffin cups. Fill each cup no more than 2/3 full (about 1 T filling). Makes 12-15 medium tarts.

Bake at 375°F for 13-15 minutes or until pastry is golden. Cool in pans, remove and store in air-tight container.

1 comment to Next best Canadian Butter Tarts

  • Yvonne C Dunmore

    Thank you for the recipe.My husband loved the English Mince Pies we grew-up with. Now we live in the USA he has taken a liking to the Raisin Pies. Now I have this to try on him. All of these are different in their own way. I was wondering why they call them
    ‘Butter Tarts”? There doesn’t seem to be much butter in them. Thank you.

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