In honor of Canadian Thanksgiving today, I would like to share with you the recipe in Pie Camp for Butter Tarts. To my neighbors to the north of me, I very much hope that one day soon, our borders will be safely open, and we can visit each other again. Until then, may your Thanksgiving gatherings, large or small, be safe, full of family, friends, good food from a plentiful harvest, and love.
- Regular size muffin tin. Not the mini. Not the jumbo. A muffin tin like my grandmother used.
BUTTER TART DOUGH
- 1½ cups 190 g flour, plus a little more for rolling
- A pinch of salt
- 8 tablespoons 1 stick; 112 g cold butter, cubed
- ¼ cup 60 ml ice water
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoons white vinegar or fresh-squeezed lemon juice
BUTTER TART FILLING
- 1 cup 200 g brown sugar
- A pinch of salt
- 4 tablespoons ½ stick; 56 g butter, softened
- 1 egg fork beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup 100 g raisins or currants
TO MAKE THE DOUGH
- In a large bowl that you can comfortably get your hands in, place the flour and salt. Fluff with a fork or your clean hands to mix.
- Add the cold butter, and smoosh and pinch it into the flour with your fingertips, or cut it in with a pastry cutter. The pieces of fat should be no larger than pea size with flakes the size of oats.
- In a small bowl, mix together the water, egg yolk, and white vinegar with a fork. Pour over the flour and fat mixture, and fluff with a fork or fingers to mix in.
- Bring the dough together and knead it three or four times with the heel of your hand. Pat it out into a flat rectangle, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes.
- On a well-floured surface, roll out the dough to a rectangle about 12 by 18 inches (30 by 46 cm) and ¼ inch (6 mm) thick. As you roll out the dough, be sure that it isn’t sticking and you can move it on the surface. Add a bit more flour if needed.
- Cut the dough into 4-inch (10 cm) circles. Gather the scrap dough together lightly and roll out again and cut until you have 12 circles.
- Place a circle of dough in each of the buttered cups. Use your fingers to gently smooth it along the sides. It is okay if there are a few folds in the dough.
- Place the dough-filled muffin tin in the fridge while you go on to make the filling.
TO MAKE THE FILLING
- Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C).
- In a medium bowl, add the brown sugar, salt, and softened butter. With an electric hand mixer, mix on low until the butter and sugar are well combined.
- In a small bowl, mix the egg and vanilla together with a fork. Add to the butter and sugar mixture and, using a big spoon, mix until combined.
- Stir in the raisins.
- Fill each tart shell with 1 scant tablespoon filling.
- Bake for about 15 minutes.
- When the tin comes out of the oven, run the blade of a knife around the edge of the tarts so they won’t stick. Let cool and then remove from the muffin tin.