Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Canadian Butter Tarts

canadian butter tarts

One last Canadian inspired recipe before we get into the full festive flow!

Butter Tarts are apparently a popular baked treat in Canada, but seemed to have passed me by. Until our trip to Toronto last month that is.

One day, cousin Lawrence took us over to the home of a friend of his, Janice, whom he worked with in the past and has kept in touch with.

Janice, originally from England, was keen to meet us and have us over for a spot of lunch one day. It was a gorgeous day when we ventured over to Janice’s home and we had lunch in the garden.

It was a lovely spread of breads, cheeses, quiche, cold meats, salad and lots more. All washed down with copious amounts of gin, which we hadn’t had elsewhere in Canada. It’s not a ‘thing’ there – yet – like it has become so popular in the UK.

Anyhoo, for dessert Janice had bought butter tarts for us, which were topped with fruit and nuts and were just delicious. To be honest I didn’t really pay much attention to what the tart was, I just know I enjoyed it.

When we got back home, one day I happened upon a Canadian cooking show on the television called ‘Best Recipes Ever’ where the host was making butter tarts. This time I paid more attention and discovered these were indeed a Canadian classic, but not full of butter as one might imagine. Instead they have a sugary, almost toffee like filling. Most common in the bottom of the tarts seem to be raisins and on occasion some pecans too.

Of course, I had to give them a go and I opted for a recipe, adapted from, which gave a ‘set’ filling rather than a runnier one, which is also quite acceptable.

canadian butter tarts

I used both raisins and chopped pecans in mine and I loved the result of brown sugar, butter and egg, baked into a pastry shell. I used shop-bought pastry rather than make my own, but if you are so inclined….These didn’t look quite as professional as the ones Janice had bought for us, from her local baker, who have probably been making them for years. Nor did I top mine with berries or more nuts. Instead, we had them ‘as is’ and thoroughly enjoyed them.

canadian butter tarts

Give this easy Canadian classic a try!

print recipe

Canadian Butter Tarts
Traditional Canadian baked good - sugar, butter, eggs with raisins and pecans
  • 200 grams dark brown sugar
  • 45 grams unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 1 medium egg
  • 30 grams pecans, chopped
  • 30 grams raisins
  • 1 sheet ready rolled shortcrust pastry
Preheat the oven to 180C (160C fan).Cut out circles from the sheet of pastry, big enough to line a cupcake tin hole.Press each pastry circle into each cup of the cupcake tin and with a fork run this round the edges to make a design.Divide the raisins between the 12 cups and scatter them in the bottom of each.In a saucepan, add the sugar and butter and heat gently until both melt and are liquid.Add the flour and mix this in quickly with a wooden spoon.Add the egg and beat in very quickly so it doesn't scramble. You should have a glossy mixture.Stir through the pecans.Divide this mix equally between each of the pastry cups. Wipe up and spills before baking.Place in the oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes. The mix will bubble up.Allow to cool before removing from the tin. They should pop out by gently turning the tarts in the pan.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 12 tarts

canadian butter tarts


  1. oh Stuart, they look SO good! Enjoy your time away x

  2. I haven't come across Canadian Butter Tarts before but they look delicious. Sounds like you had a lovely lunch.

    1. It was very nice to experience a Canadian lunch!

  3. These sound very yummy!

    Rachael xx.

  4. Oooh, these passed me by in Canada too, but I did visit several Gin distilleries! ;-)

    1. It's on the up - maybe it will be 'the' thing next time we visit.


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