These Canadian Butter Tarts are a quintessential Canadian dessert. They’re beyond simple, super sweet and gooey and fabulous served warm, topped with fresh whipped cream!
The BEST Ooey-Gooey Canadian Butter Tarts
Canadian Butter Tarts. Where have you been my whole life?
I came across this humble butter tart a few weeks back while scrolling the internet. Oh, the time I’ve missed out on these little beauties!
Hmmmm? I thought. Looks like a cross between pecan pie, which you know is my fave, and a sugar pie, which I’ve also seen here and there over the years.
After searching the almighty Google, I realized there are several recipes out there. Each a bit different. Some with maple syrup, some with corn syrup, some with raisins, some without. Crusts made with shortening, crusts that were all butter. The options were endless for this decadent, yet simple little tart.
I tested several recipes and I decided my favorite was the recipe posted by The New York Times sans the raisins.
Their pastry is made with all butter and their filling with brown sugar and butter. No maple syrup or corn syrup, although they do give you the option to use a combination of maple syrup, corn syrup or golden syrup with only 2/3 cup of the brown sugar to yield a runnier tart. Since I was totally new to the Canadian butter tart game, I decided to just go with their posted recipe.
Why You’ll Love this Recipe
Seriously, these little tarts are amazing! The filling comes together in less than five minutes and if you decide to go with refrigerated pie crusts instead of homemade the entire recipe comes together super quick.
These beauties taste so delicious when they’re still warm from the oven with some freshly whipped cream on the side and they’d be PERFECT for the upcoming holidays.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- all-purpose flour
- fine sea salt
- unsalted butter
- white vinegar
- light brown sugar
- vanilla extract
And what a treat these sweet little tarts are! Unfortunately for Tom, I made these for the first time when he was away on business. I popped the tray out of the oven, let them cool for just a bit and tried one warm with some fresh whipped cream. It was like I’d died and gone to heaven!
I had to call in some friends to help devour them or honestly I could have polished them all off myself.
First, you will combine your flour and salt in a large bowl and then add the cubed butter and cut in with a pastry cutter until the mixture is in pea-size pieces.
Then you’ll mix the water, egg yolk and vinegar until well combined and add to the flour mixture, using a fork to combine.
Knead the dough to bring it together to form a flat disc. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
You’ll remove the dough from the fridge and roll out on a lightly floured surface and use a 4-inch round cookie cutter to cut 12 pieces. You will press circles into standard muffin tin.
Next up will be the filling. In a medium bowl you will mix together brown sugar and salt and then add the butter and beat by hand until smooth. Add the vanilla and egg and mix until combined. You do not want to use an electric mixer.
Divide the filling into the tart shells, filling each until about half full and bake. Remove from oven and run a knife around the edges of each tart to loosen and then cool completely in tin. To remove, run a knife around and under each tart and pop out.
I’m not gonna lie, I’ve also opted to make things even easier and make them with some store-bought Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crusts, and honestly, they’re still fantastic. We all know, the holiday season is a busy time, so if there’s a way to make things a smidge easier with a product that I enjoy that’s store-bought instead of homemade, I’m in. And with the store-bought pie crusts, these take no time at all. Just roll out the pie crusts and cut with your four-inch cookie cutter and pop into your standard muffins tin, fill and bake and your less than 20 minutes from sweet tarts you’re sure to devour in no time!
Please let me know if you give the recipe a try. And if you have any questions about the recipe, just drop a comment below. Enjoy!
A Few Cook’s Notes for Canadian Butter Tarts
As I mentioned above, you can opt to add the raisins or leave them out. I left them out.
The New York Times recipe also mentioned that you can substitute a combination of 1/3 cup maple syrup, corn syrup or golden syrup plus 2/3 cup brown sugar in place of the one cup brown sugar for a runnier tart. I went with the one cup brown sugar and the tarts were delicious. I thought they had the perfect ooey-gooey consistency.
If you do use Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crusts, you will need one full box.
More Delicious Dessert Recipes to Enjoy
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus a bit more for dusting
- pinch of fine sea salt
- 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 1/4 cup ice water
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tsp. white vinegar
- 1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Whisk together. Add the cubed butter and cut in with a pastry cutter until the mixture is in pea-size pieces.
- In a small bowl, mix the water, egg yolk and vinegar until well combined. Add to the flour mixture, using a fork to combine. Add an additional tablespoon water if the mixture appears dry.
- Knead the dough to bring it together to form a flat disc. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
- Remove from the fridge and roll out on a lightly floured surface into a 16x12-inch rectangle, about 1/8-1/4-inch thick. Use a 4-inch round cookie cutter to cut 12 pieces, rerolling the dough if you need to. Press circles into standard muffin tin. (as pictured) Refrigerate while you make the filling.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a standard sized muffin tin lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, mix together brown sugar and salt. Add the butter and beat by hand until smooth. Add the vanilla and egg and mix until combined. Do not use an electric mixer.
- Divide the filling into the tart shells, filling each until about half full. Place the muffin tin on a baking sheet. Bake 13-15 minutes for a runnier tart or 17-19 for a firmer tart. I baked mine for 17 minutes.
- Remove from oven and run a knife around the edges of each tart to loosen. Cool completely in tin. To remove, run a knife around and under each tart and pop out. Serve warm with fresh whipped cream.
Recipe adapted from The New York Times