We are non-commercial, all volunteer and supported by our readers. Please help sustain the Dew by making a donation.
Butter Tarts for Canada Day
The single greatest dish to come out of Canada is the Butter Tart (sometimes called Taffy Tarts – or maybe just Husband calls them that?). Now, if you know how much I lovvvvve Poutine you will know how serious of a declaration is it for me to make, but Butter Tarts are the awesomest.
Butter Tarts are sort of like miniature pecan pies without the pecans. You make small, very shallow crusts with ultra flaky pie crust dough using about 900 muffin tins. Then you fill them up with a syrupy, buttery filling and bake them. The filling forms a shell on top when baked so when you take a bite out of one you get this snappy crunch thing happening, then your mouth is filled with the syrupy insides. Just when your tongue and taste buds have wrapped their brains around all this, they’re hit with the flaky, buttery crust that soaks everything up. It’s like Sir Thomas More climbed in your mouth and created the ultimate utopian environment.
I have never actually made these. I’m afraid they won’t be as good as my mother-in-law’s and I’ll end up stabbing Husband in the face with a fork. But I think I’ve isolated a great recipe. This isn’t MIL’s. MIL doesn’t actually have a recipe – she makes these from heart – and, though I’ve tried, I cannot successfully document the process.
These little boogers are all over Oh Canada. You can buy them at the gas station. Really. And, much like many of the South’s greatest culinary contributions, the recipes vary from province to province, city to city and gas station to gas station. Some have raisins or dates, some have nuts, etc.
This is your basic Butter Tart recipe. Which I’ve never made. I’m such a hack.
Canadian Butter Tarts
Recipe and Photos from Radishes & Rhubarb
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup shortening
4-5 tablespoons ice cold water
1/2 cup room temperature butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
a few drops of lemon juice
pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Make the pastry first. In a small bowl mix the flour and salt. Cut in the shortening with a fork or a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the cold water and stir just until the dough starts to pull together.
Turn out onto a well floured surface. Quickly shape into a ball and roll out to a 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into 4 inch circles and fit the cut pastry into the cups of a muffin tin.
In a medium bowl cream together all of the filling ingredients until smooth. Fill the prepared cups 2/3 full. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from muffin tin and let stand until completely cool.
And if you’re looking for something a little more suited for Fourth of July, check out the Covered Dishes post on my website.
Worthy of Comment
Also on the Dew
The Confederate flags are now gone from around the incumbent marble Robert E. Lee, at eternal rest with his riding boots on in the innermost sanctuary of Lee Chapel in Lexington, Va. That is as it should be, for many reasons. One is historical. Our campus was a sanctuary of recovery from the Civil War, where “the sun falls through the ruined boughs of locusts/ Up to the president’s office.” That president was Lee, “in a dark civilian suit who walks,/ An outlaw fumbling for the latch, a voice/ Commanding in a dream where no flag flies.” These are lines from “Lee in the Moun Read on →
Summary: Liberal America does not perceive well the nature of the force that's taken over the right. Not perceiving what we're up against has enormous consequences, because understanding one's foe - its nature, its way of working, the disposition of its forces - has enormous implications for devising the best strategy for defeating it. Providing a good understanding of what it is we are up against is one of the central purposes of this "Press the Battle" series. *******I've undertaken to present this "Press the Battle" series because, believing it might make an important contribution, I feel a moral obligation Read on →
One wryly fascinating aspect of achieving "seniority" is that my senses have become more adept at finding free entertainment. Locating alternative sources of amusement has become almost a necessity these days. Daytime television remains abominable, cable TV is objectionally priced (probably by those same pirates who sell inkjet print cartridges) and the ransom one has to give up for seats to professional sporting events is unconscionable. Also, our local news daily, though not unreasonably priced is but a shell of its former self. It is no longer a joy to read. One amusing activity, I find, involves no equipment, no cover cha Read on →
How does that happen? Mostly, it's the result of a mixture of hubris and inadvertence. Humans, stuck on themselves, think they know it all. Others are convinced "all it takes is the idea" (the ExxonMobil slogan) and, as it was in the beginning, man says the word and nature is obedient. Fortunately, the age of electronics has made it possible to virtually eliminate inadvertence. We can look ahead and simulate what will happen, if we repeat the mistakes of the past. That's what James Holland is doing with the various projects at Cannon's Point in the marshes on the coast of Read on →