Butter Tarts

There were many things I discovered for the first time when I moved to Canada.

Most of them good, some of them confusing.

If I say, “Do I have any post?” in the Post Office people will look at me with a look of confusion. Repeat it as, “Do I have any mail?” and all seems to becomes clear.

The temptation to point to the word “Post” in Post Office is almost overwhelming, but I am British, don’t you know, so my overwhelming crushing need to be polite causes me to refrain.

My friend, Sherri’s mom’s sugar tarts are amongst the best things foodwise.

Sherri’s Mom’s Butter Tarts

  • 2 eggs slightly beaten
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup Maple syrup or corn syrup
  • 2 tsp vinegar
  • 6 tbsp melted butter
  • 2/3 cup chopped walnuts or raisins (optional) – The walnuts really add a great crunch and are well worth including.

Mix the slightly beaten eggs and salt together. Blend together the brown sugar and syrup and heat gently over medium heat until dissolved. Add hot syrup mixture slowly to egg mixture and blend together.

When you add the hot syrup to eggs, stir all the time you are pouring.

Add vinegar, melted butter and chopped nuts. Fill l2 tart shells 2/3 full.

Bake at 400 degrees for 10 – 15 minutes, and then lower oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue to bake until done, about another 10 minutes.

I butter the muffin tin lightly before filling, run a knife around each tart when you take out of oven, let cool for a few minutes before removing from tin.

You can use your favourite pie crust, but if you need a really flaky one, then this is the one to use.

Sherri’s pie crust

1lb shortening or lard (This was how the recipe was given to me, however I always use butter)
5 ½ cups flour
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 egg
1 tsp vinegar
1 cup cold water

Cut fat into the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. When it looks like small pea sized balls make a well in the middle

Beat egg slightly. Add vinegar and cold water to make 1 cup

Pour the egg mixture into the well. Cut the flour mixture into the egg until all the flour binds

You can use your hands near the end but touch the pastry as little as possible as it makes it tough

Shape into discs to roll – makes 5 pie crusts

You can freeze extra dough for up to four months