Gooey and delightful, butter tarts are a staple treat at any Canadian holiday—usually Christmas, but I’ve seen them at Thanksgiving and Easter as well. I actually had no idea that they were a Canadian speciality until I move to Australia and my tart-loving family (hehe, I had to!) had no idea what they were.
There are two main varieties of butter tarts—those with “impurities” such as raisins or pecans, and those without. I guess I’m a purist because I prefer them without the added bits, but I’ll let you decide for yourself! I did cheat a bit for these ones and used pre-made pastry, which made making these an absolute cinch to make.
Canadian Butter Tarts
Cooking time: 20 minutes
- 12 premade shortcrust pastry tart bases
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup honey, golden syrup, or corn syrup
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp each vanilla extract and white vinegar
- 1/4 cup currants, raisins, pecans, or coconut (optional)
Optional: If using raisins or currants, soak in a few tablespoons of warm brandy, rum, or triple sec for about 20 minutes before using.
Preheat oven to 450 F / 230 C. In a microwavable bowl, soften 2 tbsp of butter and whisk together with the sugar until creamy. Add the honey or syrup, egg, vanilla, vinegar, and a pinch of salt and mix well. If using extra fillings, divide these between the pastry shells now. Spoon the liquid mixture over top.
Bake for 12-15 minutes or until filling has gone golden and is bubbling. Let cool and enjoy!
I’m not sure why all of my butter tarts didn’t go golden at the same rate—if needed, just pop a couple back in the oven for a few minutes!