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One of my absolute favourite Christmas treats since I was a kid are butter tarts a sweet raisin/walnut combination in small bite size flaky pastry shells who wouldn’t like them?! I always thought butter tarts should be a year round treat but for some reason most of us only make them at Christmas or maybe that’s a good thing as I would probably eat too many of them year round instead of just at Christmas.

Well I was surprised to learn yesterday that butter tarts are very much a Canadian thing and I here I thought everyone in North America must love butter tarts like I do. I went online to go look up
a butter tart recipe as I can’t recall exactly everything my mom used to put in hers. During my search I saw post after post about “Canadian Butter Tarts” or Butter Tarts a Canadian tradition was I ever shocked to find out that it’s a Canadian thing. My friends south of the border you don’t know what you’re missing or maybe for those who are lucky and have tried them maybe you do know what you’re missing.

Like all recipes there’s always variations but the most common butter tart is made with raisins, brown sugar, walnuts, butter vanilla, cream and depending on how runny you like them with or without golden corn syrup. Some people do without the walnuts and/or raisins, some people even just like it with just the butter/brown sugar, cream and vanilla for the thick syrupy mixture. All I can say is that the ones with the raisins and walnuts have been a favourite of mine as far back as I can remember so I’m quite happy that this is a truly Canadian tradition (can’t say that a lot as we don’t have many). Noticed I used some Canadian spelling of certain words in here who can spot them? 🙂

I love hearing about what other people do for their Christmas traditions, treats, quirks, please feel free to share or if you’re a butter tart lover feel free to say that too.

Butter Tart Recipe
The tarts are baked in standard 12 unit muffin pans lined with thickish pie pastry – make your standard and roll it out a bit thicker than you would for a pie crust; cut out circles using a saucer or other 5″ round item as a guide; spray the muffin tin with vegetable spray and fit the circles into the muffin cups. OR make it really easy and by the tenderflake tart shells, they work perfectly 🙂

You can stick the prepared pan in the fridge while you make the filling .

beat 2 eggs, 1 cup loosely packed brown sugar, 1/2 cup corn syrup (either light or dark for US bakers, the standard one in Canada is golden in colour), a pinch to 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 cup soft butter (always salted in our house, some always kept at room temp for spreading and such recipes as this), 1/2 cup or so dark raisins or 
preferably currants, and 1 tsp vanilla.
Fill the tart shells with this – the amount makes 12 tarts – and bake at 400 deg F for 14 to 18 mins. We like them just barely set, some people prefer them firmer.

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