Author Notes: This is the quintessential Canadian dessert. Butter tarts are comprised of a flaky, buttery pastry crust oozing with a rich, caramel filling and dotted with plump raisins. Make a big batch, keep them in the ice box and always have something around to satisfy that sweet tooth! - CrepesofWrath
Makes 30-35 tarts
For the Crust
- 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2/3 cups unsalted butter, COLD (NOT room temperature), cut into pieces
- 2/3 cups shortening, COLD (NOT room temperature)
- 2/3 cups ice water
- 3 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
For the Butter Tarts
- 1 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup dark corn syrup
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup raisins or currants
- sea salt, for sprinkling (optional)
- First, make your crust. Whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl or the bowl of your food processor. I used my food processor, but I didn't always have one and have had great results making this crust by hand. Add in the chopped pieces of cold butter and cold shortening . Blend together with your hands or pulse with your processor until you have coarse crumbs (it doesn’t have to be perfect). You can use a pastry cutter, too, but I find that a clean pair of hands work best.
- Mix together the water and vinegar in a small bowl. When ready, slowly drizzle it over the dough, a tablespoon or so at a time, gently stirring the mixture with a fork or pulsing with your processor, until fully incorporated (you may not use all of the water). It might seem a bit too wet at this point, but it will dry up while it sits in the fridge. Form the dough gently into 2 loose balls, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and chill in the fridge for a minimum of 3 hours or as long as overnight (as always, overnight is best). Make your filling when you are almost ready to use your dough.
- When you're ready to bake, liberally butter your muffin tins. This recipe makes about 30-36 tarts, so plan accordingly. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly flour a work surface, and take one of your balls of dough and roll it out to about 1/4-inch thick. Cut out circles that are a bit larger than the circumference of your tins, so that there is enough crust to hold in the filling, and gently place each circle in the tins, re-rolling your dough as you go. Drop 3-4 raisins in the bottom of each tart before adding in the filling.
- Whisk together your dark brown sugar, corn syrup, melted butter, and vanilla. Drop 2-3 teaspoons of filling (it will bubble, so don't overfill or you will have a hell of a time getting the tarts out of the pan) in each tart, then sprinkle with a touch of sea salt. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until lightly golden and mostly set. Allow to cool completely before removing the tarts from the pan. I like to use a dull paring knife to cut around any hardened caramel and then popping each tart out. These will keep well at room temperature for up to 3 days, or frozen for up to 3 months.