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Why do butter tart recipes call for vinegar? What does it do?

I found a recipe for butter tarts that DOESN'T call for vinegar, does it make that much of a difference?

asked by Miss Karen 7 days ago

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10 answers 472 views
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Nancy

Nancy is a trusted home cook.

added 7 days ago

Since the filling for butter tarts is almost all sugar, some suggest it's to balance that sweetness.
But not all recipes have the vinegar.
And those that do have only small amounts, so there's not much taste of it.
I wonder if there's a chemical reaction?
Or were there larger amounts of vinegar in earlier recipes?
Interested to see what others say.

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23d08e08 3b57 4e81 adcd 91701fc50809  fb avatar
added 6 days ago

What IS a butter tart? Never heard of it, myself, and poking around a few web sites produced nothing but some peanut butter tarts, brown butter apple tarts, and things of that sort. I would think that an actual butter tart would involve cutting a good deal of grease, for which vinegar might help, but I'm curious what sort of a filling you're referring to.

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B3038408 42c1 4c18 b002 8441bee13ed3  new years kitchen hlc only
AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added 6 days ago

https://en.wikipedia.org... I've never had one but it seems a bit like a pecan pie without the pecans, and often includes raisins. The filling seems quite sweet, so I would guess that the vinegar is supposed to tone that down. Just guessing, though. ;o)

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Nancy

Nancy is a trusted home cook.

added 6 days ago

Prized Canadian dessert...small sweet pastries, shaped liked pies, about 2-3" in diameter, filling is mostly butter and sugar. Here's a selection of recipes:
http://www.foodnetwork...

Aa802f58 3227 4bd7 a060 b77e03bc91a6  2011 unloaded 882
added 6 days ago

Well..... These mini desserts ARE Canadian in origin. WHY they are called 'Butter Tarts' is beyond me, since that is NOT the main ingredient. In any case they are best described as pecan pies w/o pecans- substitute raisins. One is supposed to allow them to cool before hoarking them down like popcorn, but nobody I know can do that. My son and I both seem to be mandated to ingest them post haste :)

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Ted
added 6 days ago

Yes, like pecan pie without the pecans. It is common to find them with raisins or walnut pieces, but there are only a few of those in each tartlette. The emphasis is on the filling, not the nuts or raisins. (Some people use currants instead of raisins.) In supermarkets, you can find plain versions, as well as ones with raisins or walnut pieces or pecan halves.

Some people like the filling extra gooey, so they add a bit of corn syrup to the pastry shell before adding the mixed filling.

You occasionally find "updated" versions including chocolate chips and so on. (Traditionalists consider these aberrations.)

There is an entire butter tart tour in Ontario Canada. http://buttertarttour.ca...

(As a related note, the estimable John Thorne wrote a chapter on pecan pie in his book "Outlaw Cook" which is worth reading. His advice to use maple syrup in walnut pie --rather than corn syrup-- encouraged me to use some maple syrup with the walnuts in my butter tarts.)

23d08e08 3b57 4e81 adcd 91701fc50809  fb avatar
added 5 days ago

Okey dokey, thanks to all- sounds a bit much to me; I have tried maple syrup in pecan pie, and liked it quite a bit- I always like maple syrup.

0a62c55f 38bb 4f00 aefc 1de6685070d9  stringio
added 5 days ago

It is a Canadian classic. Flaky pastry shell with a filling of egg, brown sugar, butter, vanilla and currants (or raisins) They are delish.

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HalfPint

HalfPint is a trusted home cook.

added 6 days ago

Vinegar tartness is a nice counterpoint to sweet and buttery flavor. It would make that tart taste even better. More buttery, if that's even possible.

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Cd8e75fa cd53 4309 a10d 061afc28ec22  fb avatar
added 4 days ago

I’ve had them both ways. Def always go with the vinegar when I make them. I use part Apple cider and part white but doesn’t matter. It just gives a wonderful bite that balances the sweet. They’re wonderful.

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