According to writer, Sarah Brown, there are three things which most Canadians have strong opinions on: religion, politics and butter tarts. « Never should these words, or any reference to them, be mentioned in social gatherings unless waging bloody battle is the intended result.
What are they?
Very Canadian, very traditional, very yummy! If you want a classic Canadian dessert, look no further! These little mouth-watering treats are made up of a flaky pastry filled with a butter, sugar, syrup and egg filling. They are baked until the filling is semi-solid with a crunchy top. You can personalize your butter tarts by adding additional ingredients to the filling such as currants; peanut butter, raisins, dates, etc. Just let your imagination flow!
The butter tart was a staple of pioneer Canadian baking. These little butter tarts are one of the few recipes of genuine Canadian origin. One could even say that the butter tart is a source of Canadian pride! The recipe is similar to that of the British treacle tart and the pecan pie brought to Canada by American slaves. However, all these recipes use syrup bases whereas the Canadian butter tart is unique as it uses a butter and sugar base.
The first published recipe of the tarts was in Ontario in 1900 and since then numerous recipes have been created and altered according to people’s tastes. Frequent baking contests take place all round Canada and butter tart cupcakes have even been made for Canada Day!
Here we have a very traditional butter tart recipe; the recipe for the filling has been taken from a book called “The Velvet Touch” which was published back in 1938!!
For the pastry:
1 teaspoon salt
60g cold butter, cubed
60g lard or butter, cubed
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vinegar
30g melted butter
240g cup brown sugar
1 egg well beaten
120g chopped walnuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 230 degrees
- In large bowl, whisk flour with salt. With pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in butter and lard until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with a few larger pieces.
- In liquid measure, whisk egg yolk with vinegar; add enough ice water to make 75ml. Sprinkle over flour mixture, stirring briskly with fork until pastry holds together.
- Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.
- Pour boiling water over the raisins. Let stand for 10 minutes. Drain and immediately add remaining ingredients. Stir together well.
- Roll out the pastry to 3mm thickness and line one dozen tart tins with it.
- Spoon in filling until three-quarters full.
- Bake 12-15 minutes in a pre-heated oven at 230˚C until filling is puffed and bubbly and pastry is golden. Cool a little before trying to remove from tins.
To give the tarts that little special touch… drizzle the cooled tarts with 60g of melted semisweet or white chocolate. You have just created Chocolate Gooey Butter Tarts!
Flaky pastry: pâte feuilletée
Teaspoon: cuillère à café
Melted : fondu
Chopped walnuts : noix concassées
Sprinkle / Drizzle : saupoudrer
Boiling water : eau bouillante
Stir together well : bien mélanger
Thickness : épaisseur
Tins : moule
Assistante de pédagogie