BUTTER TARTS . . . the quintessential Canadian pastry tart



I have shared hundreds of recipes on my food blog MRS. BUTTERFINGERS.  One recipe has been outstandingly popular.  It is my recipe for butter tarts. Hundreds of  cooks have down loaded  this  quintessential Canadian dessert.

The melt-in-your-mouth flaky pastry tart is filled with delicious concoction of butter, sugar, syrup and eggs .  Cooks add their own variations.  The purists add only  currants or raisins. Some cooks add variation with nuts, coconut, chocolate chips, figs or dates.  The pastry recipe is carefully explained and if you are one who avoids making pastry do try this.  You will be thrilled with the results.

In 1955 I was working as a writer at a small Alberta radio station.  I brought a box of butter tarts I had baked to work.  I was asked if I would bake some butter tarts for a bridal shower.  I quickly found myself working nine to five as a writer, then filling orders for butter tarts at night.   My career in the food business had begun.

This is the very best of pioneer Canadian cooking.  The earliest recipe for butter tarts was found in 1900 in The Woman’s Auxiliary of the Royal Victorian Hospital Cookbook.  Over the years I continually tweaked my recipe.  This recipe found in the Harrow Country Fair cook book (with a few adjustments) is a blue ribbon winner.  I always use currents (reconstituted) as opposed to raisins.  I think their flavour and texture  better compliments the syrupy filling.  The pastry of butter tarts is equally as important as the filling.  It must be flaky and rich yet be able to hold the delicious and sometimes runny filling.

You can  make butter tarts in tiny tart tins for one bite of heaven.  If I plan to use the butter tarts for a dessert I use a larger tart tin and serve with a generous scoop of  sublime vanilla ice cream or a flourish of whipped cream.

Butter Tarts will keep about a week at room temperature and freeze beautifully for three to four weeks.

BLUE RIBBON BUTTER TARTS    – just click on the name and fill your kitchen with the delectable aroma of baking.


14 thoughts on “BUTTER TARTS . . . the quintessential Canadian pastry tart

    • Miss C I am so happy my ice cream is part of your life. You and the Farmy are so very much a part of mine. Frost has finally finished the greens in my garden, although Lar is still digging up carrots and beets. We are now raising our second pair of pigs – but no greens. I was shopping at our little local grocery store and with Miss C. as my inspiration I asked the produce manager if they had any greens or vegetables they were throwing out. Two ENORMOUS BOXES LATER I triumphantly carried home lettuce, parsley, pears, broccoli, raspberries, blackberries, radishes. I don’t know who is happier – me or the pigs. They informed me they would have that amount every day so when ever I needed it the salad bar for pigs is at my grocery store. XX. V.

  1. Oh you vixen of culinary delights………..what have you tempted us with now! These delights have made me attempt to snatch one from the computer screen and I have drooled all over the keyboard. Sublime wonders from the kitchen of Virginia……..I can only imagine the smell of them baking in the oven and then snatching one up from the pan, tossing it from hand to hand to cool it before popping it into my mouth, the delicate crust melting away………that Lar is one lucky guy!!!!

    • And that is exactly what happens when butter tarts come out of the oven Tinny. Even the risk of burning ones tongue does not stop us from snatching that gooey sweet out of this world treat and popping it into our waiting mouth. XX OO L & V

  2. Virgina, I love butter tarts! They were the first tart I ever baked w/o mom or baba’s help. My dad had a friend over, and they literally ate every tart before mom came home.
    Thank you for the wonderful memory, and I think I’ll be making some butter tarts soon!
    _Resa xoxo

    • It’s 10 am and our son has just phoned. We are going to their home for dinner tonight … would I make butter tarts for dessert. My blog on butter tarts has released a flood of memories dear to the hearts of many. XX OO Virginia

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s