Summer Fun - Maple Butter Tarts


Canadian summers are synonymous with butter tarts. There are butter tart contests and we seriously debate all things butter tart. Do you like them runny or custardy; with raisins or not; throw in some nuts? And the pastry - more biscuity or traditional flaky pastry?

Travel through Ontario cottage country in the summer and no matter where you stop for a bite to eat, you will find a cake stand full of butter tarts.

Here's one of my favourite recipes just for you. Enjoy.

Maple Butter Tarts

(print recipe here)

1/2 Double-Crust Sour Cream Pastry

Maple Syrup Filling:

3/4 cup (175 mL) packed brown sugar

1/2 cup (125 mL) maple syrup, (No. 1 medium grade)

1/3 cup (75 mL) butter, melted

2 eggs

1 tbsp (15 mL) cider vinegar

1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt

1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped walnuts, halved

1/4 cup (60 mL) dried currants

1/4 cup (60 mL) golden raisins

Make the double crust sour cream pastry. Set out muffin or tart pan with twelve 2-3/4- x 1-1/4-inch (7 x 3 cm) cups.

On lightly floured surface, roll out pastry to generous 1/8-inch (3 mm) thickness. Using 4-inch (10 cm) round cutter, cut out 12 circles, rerolling scraps. Fit into muffin cups; refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Maple Syrup filling. Meanwhile, in bowl, whisk together brown sugar, maple syrup, butter, eggs, cider vinegar and salt. Divide walnuts, currants and raisins evenly among pastry shells. Spoon scant 1/4 cup (50 mL) filling into each shell.

Bake in centre of 350°F (180°C) oven until filling is set and pastry is golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Run thin knife blade around edges to release tarts. Let cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Transfer to rack; let cool. 

Variations. Maple Chocolate Butter Tarts: Replace currants and raisins with 1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped bittersweet chocolate or semisweet chocolate chips.

Maple Pecan Butter Tarts: Omit currants. Replace walnuts with 1/2 cup (125 mL) broken pecan halves.

Source : Canadian Living Magazine: October 2008

What are your regional recipes that mean summer?