Butter tarts are the darling dessert of Canada, crisp pastry crust bursting with sweet, buttery filling. You'll see many variations of the recipe, with hot debate over which is the best. Some like the sugar, egg, and butter filling baked until nearly firm and others prefer a wet middle. Along with the gooey filling, recipes may include raisins, currents, or other dried fruit and even -- very controversial! -- nuts. Each addition adds texture and flavor, and although bakers may dispute which is most authentic, they are all delicious in their own right. The trick to remember when adding fruits or nuts though, is to layer them under the butter filling to prevent them from burning in the hot oven.
Butter tarts may have their origins in an ancient French sugar tart, but they have become one of the most classic of all Canadian pastries. The simple filling ingredients were available in homes across the country. Sometimes maple syrup is used for the more commonly called for corn syrup, resulting in an even more Canadian identity. There are even butter tart festivals and markets that pop up all over in Ontario, Canada!
Make This Classic Your Way
Canadian butter tarts start with a crisp crust. Roll the dough a little thinner than usual to get the best ratio of filling to crust. Cut the dough in circles that fit mini muffin or pie tins and carefully press the dough in, avoiding stretching so the dough does not shrink when baking. We recommend chilling the dough at this point before filling and baking –- this keeps the crust flaky. You'll find lots of butter tart filling recipes, maybe you even have a family favorite! You can mix the ingredients together while the crust is chilling and then be all set to go.
What about those controversial fruits and nuts? As we mentioned, it's key to place them in the chilled crust before spooning on the filling mixture. We also recommend soaking dried fruit for a few minutes to rehydrate it so that the heat of the oven does not dry them out completely. If you choose to use raisins, you can try our hack for using the microwave to soften them! Nuts taste better if you toast them before baking in the butter tarts, too. Just be sure all of the nut or fruit is covered with filling before you pop the tin in the oven.
The final decision is how long to bake your tarts. Some people love them a bit runny, and you can reduce the baking time by a minute or two if you're in that camp. We think you'll love this little taste of Canada, no matter what variation you try!
Read the original article on Tasting Table.