Easy Classic Canadian Butter Tarts

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This Easy Classic Canadian Butter Tart recipe is an easy way to may the classic butter tart recipe that my grandma would always make. These tarts are a tradition in our household over the holidays, and I am sure you will enjoy them too!

My grandma made the best butter tarts. I always remember her making massive batches of this classic Canadian dessert when I was young. My dad would eat them as fast as she could make them! She would always get mad at him because she was making them to freeze for the holidays. I was able to track down her recipe cards for the tart filling and decided to make some of my own butter tarts for her. This is the recipe I will be sharing with you today! Pastry dough still intimidates me though, so we are using premade frozen tart shells in this recipe. If you have your own pastry or pie crusts recipe you would prefer to use, go for it!

Easy Classic Canadian Butter Tarts on parchment paper
easy classic Canadian butter tarts

What are Butter Tarts?

Butter tarts a a quintessentially Canadian dessert. Although there are competing theories on its origin, the first written recipe for traditional Canadian butter tarts appeared in the Women's Auxiliary of the Royal Victoria Hospital Cookbook in Ontario in 1900. However, many believe these tarts came across far before that, with the French in the 1700's. It is likely this was an adaptation of French sugar pie using the ingredients most readily available to them. There is also speculation that these tarts came from Scottish settlers who originally lived in the border areas of Scotland. They brought with them their "border tarts" recipes and adapted them to the ingredients they had available to them.

Wherever these tarts originated, the one common thread among the theories is that they originated from somewhere else and were adapted to what was available in Canada. What is always consistent though, is that the butter tart has a flaky crust with a gooey filling that is very sweet with a flavor similar to maple syrup and is made using butter and eggs.

Easy Classic Canadian Butter Tarts on parchment
easy classic Canadian butter tarts

What Do I Need to Make Butter Tarts?

While the full ingredient list is available below, here are some tips on what you will need for one of the most easy recipes for this classic little tart pie.

  • Frozen tart size pastry shells
  • Unsalted butter
  • Golden corn syrup
  • Brown sugar
  • Plump raisins
  • Nutmeg
  • Kosher salt
  • Eggs, at room temperature

In place of raisins some people prefer to use chopped walnuts. I have even seen some recipes use chocolate chips!

Easy Classic Canadian Butter Tarts on parchment
easy classic Canadian butter tarts

How to Make the Best Classic Canadian Butter Tarts

While the full recipe instructions are available below, here are some tips to prepare the perfect old fashioned butter tarts!

  • The real secret to good butter tarts is their sugary filling. Once you have thawed your premade flaky pastry shell tarts, for the best results we will place them in the fridge while we prepare the brown sugar filling.
  • In a small bowl, melt your butter and add all of the filling ingredients except the eggs and whisk together until thoroughly combined. Let the mixture cool. Once cooled, lightly beat the eggs until the egg yolk and white is just combined. Add the eggs to the filling mixture and mix until well combined. Place the tart shells into a muffin tin or tart tins and place it on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Pour the filling into the bottom of the tarts so that they are evenly filled.
  • Bake the prepared tarts in the tart pans on the lowest rack in a preheated oven at 450 degrees F for approximately fifteen to twenty minutes. You will know your tarts are ready when the filling is bubbly and the edges of the pastry are golden. Let cool for approximately 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Easy Classic Canadian Butter Tarts on parchment
easy classic Canadian butter tarts

Other Desserts You Will Enjoy

If you loved these and are looking for more sweets to bake, check out these quick links!

Easy Classic Canadian Butter Tarts

This Easy Classic Canadian Butter Tart recipe is an easy way to may the classic butter tart recipe that my grandma would always make. These tarts are a tradition in our household over the holidays, and I am sure you will enjoy them too!

Author:
Kirsten

Ingredients

  • 12 Frozen tart size pastry shells
  • 1/3 cup Unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup Golden corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup Brown sugar
  • 1/2 to 2/3 cup Plump raisins
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • 2 Large eggs, at room temperature

Instructions

  1. Once you have thawed your premade flaky pastry shell tarts, for the best results place them in the fridge. In a small bowl, melt your butter and add all of the filling ingredients except the eggs and whisk together until thoroughly combined. Let the mixture cool. Once cooled, lightly beat the eggs until the egg yolk and white is just combined. Add the eggs to the filling mixture and mix until well combined. Place the tart shells into a muffin tin or tart tins and place it on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Pour the filling into the bottom of the tarts so that they are evenly filled.
  2. Bake the prepared tarts on the lowest rack in a preheated oven at 450 degrees F for approximately 15 to 20 minutes. You will know your tarts are ready when the filling is bubbly and the edges of the pastry are golden. Let cool for approximately 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

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