Maple butterĀ tarts

March 10, 2011
1 Ratings
  • Makes 12--2.5" tarts
Author Notes

You know you've crossed the border when...you can find butter tarts at any convenience store. If you've never had one, they are a bit like pecan pie without the pecans. They are a classic, usually made with brown sugar and corn syrup. I left out the corn syrup and used maple instead. Traditionally these have raisins in them, but I am a confirmed raisin hater, so I either have them plain, or I add a few wild blueberries or nuts (macadamias are amazing here) to each tart. They are gooey but not runny, and sweet but not tooth-achingly so, thanks to a bit of lemon juice and unsweetened pastry. —MaryMaryCulinary

What You'll Need
  • Butter pastry
  • 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 0.5 cups unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
  • 0.5 teaspoons salt
  • 3-7 tablespoons ice water
  • Maple butter filling
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup (medium/amber), at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup small wild blueberries, nuts, raisins (optional)
  1. Butter pastry
  2. Combine flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine. Add butter and pulse until the largest pieces are the size of peas and some pieces are tiny.
  3. Add 3 tablespoons of water and pulse again. Squeeze a handful of the crumbs together to see if it holds. If not, add the water in small increments. You do not want the dough to come together in a ball in the processor. Once the dough holds together without too much effort, flatten it into a disc and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for a few hours.
  4. Let dough sit at room temperature for a few minutes, then roll on a lightly floured surface to 1/8" thickness. Cut circles using a 4.5" round cutter. Place in standard (1/2) cup muffin tin. Chill for 30 minutes.
  1. Maple butter filling
  2. Preheat oven to 400F and place a rack in lower third of oven. Cream butter and brown sugar and add egg. Mix well, then add syrup, vanilla, salt and lemon juice.
  3. If you are using any nuts, raisins or berries, add a few to each pastry shell. You only want enough to barely cover the bottom of the shell. Add syrup mixture, filling only 3/4 full. Don't be tempted to fill them to the top, as they'll bubble over and stick to the pan.
  4. Bake for 13-15 minutes, until filling is bubbly and puffy and pastry is golden. Cool on a rack for 5 minutes, then run a knife around each tart and carefully remove. You must remove them when they are warm, or else they will weld themselves to the pan. Cool and enjoy slightly warm or at room temperature.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • checker
  • Pat E. in SLO
    Pat E. in SLO
  • MaryMaryCulinary
  • Arathi

9 Reviews

checker March 20, 2011
I just wanted to say thank you for testing my recipe, and for finding humor in my directions. My family back home are deep in the throws of making maple syrup, and as soon as I have a jar I will put it to use making these. Here in Washington, DC we are watching Spring unfold. Hopefully you are not too far behind!
Arathi March 12, 2011
Oh, lovely! My boyfriend's mother makes butter tarts, and that is exactly how she describes them - like pecan pie but without the pecans. I love them. Didn't realize it was a Canadian thing, but thought it was odd they aren't more popular here. Her recipe uses corn syrup - I love that you leave it out. Definitely saving this one!
MaryMaryCulinary March 16, 2011
Thanks! I'm not a big fan of corn syrup, and while these aren't especially maple-y, I prefer using maple here.
Pat E. March 12, 2011
Do you mean the US northern border? My Canadian mother always talked about butter tarts but could never really tell me what they were. I wish she was still here so I could make these for her. I will have to give them a try and have one with a shot of CC in her memory.
MaryMaryCulinary March 12, 2011
Yes, that's the border I mean! Try them--homemade is the best and they'll taste even better, knowing they are mom-approved.
Pat E. March 13, 2011
These were really terrific. Unfortunately one tart fell apart as I was removing it from the pan and I was forced to eat it hot...but the ones that had a chance to cool down a bit were even better... if that's possible. I put in a bit of dried cherries and macadamias ( I feel the same way about raisins) and they were absolutely delicious. The crust was simple and the best I've ever made. My mom would have loved them. Thanks so much for a great recipe! It's a keeper.
MaryMaryCulinary March 16, 2011
So glad you enjoyed them!
checker March 10, 2011
Oh my. This sounds amazing. Well done!
MaryMaryCulinary March 11, 2011
Thanks checker! I hope you try them.