Our family recipe for butter tarts

Our family recipe for butter tarts

Although Canada is fairly similar to the United States, there are a few subtle differences when it comes to cuisine. A traditional Canadian pastry, that's often served at Christmas, is the butter tart; a pastry shell filled with a soft sweet filling of butter, sugar, syrup and egg. It's said that it may have evolved from settlers who adapted a native French pastry with the ingredients on hand back in the 1600's. The first published recipe was in 1900.

Our butter tarts are fairly similar to pecan tarts popular in the United States but the inside is not thickened with flour or cornstarch so is much gooier and has a crunchy top. Today in Canada, every family has its own secret recipe. And it all comes down to one question - raisins or no raisins. Our family is in the "with raisins" camp. And although every family claims to have the very best recipe, our family actually does. If you want to try this iconic Canadian dessert for yourself, here is our family's recipe. Hope you enjoy it.

Butter Tarts

½ cup brown sugar, packed

½ cup corn syrup

3 tablespoons butter, softened

1 large egg

1 cup raisins

2 tablespoons medium or fine coconut

2 tablespoons finely chopped pecans

1 ½ teaspoons vinegar

pinch of salt

12 unbaked pastry tart shells

Pour boiling water over raisins in a bowl to plump them up, let sit 5 minutes then drain very well. Cream brown sugar, corn syrup butter and egg well in medium bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir well. Divide among tart shells.

Bake in 375º oven for about 20 minutes for regular size tarts and 10 - 15 minutes for miniature size tarts.