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The Great Canadian Butter Tart Audit

September 5, 2011

My husband Matthew and I have been in pursuit of this ultimate Canadian delicacy for several years and we have had a group/page on Facebook displaying some of our findings. Someone has to do it. In case you Americans do not know what I am talking about, a butter tart is like a pecan pie, only more unique, a single serving of course, and has very specific properties. The pastry must be very flaky and wars can break out over a tart being plain, having raisins, pecans, or if a shop dare branch out into different flavors or not.

Here in the province of Ontario, Canada, we take them so seriously that I dared to attempt to bake some and take them to a dinner party. I worked at it for 2 days. And I lied about making them until a positive reponse came through so I could blame it on someone else if they sucked.

Well turns out they did NOT suck and so I thought I would share the experience and recipe with you!



  • 1/2 cup room temperature butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • a few drops of lemon juice

In a medium bowl cream together all of the filling ingredients until smooth.


  • ice cubes
  • water
  • 2 1/2 cups (625 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) salt
  • 1 cup (250 mL) cold lard or shortening (8 oz/250 g)
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) white vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1 egg, beaten

Place three ice cubes in a measuring cup and add enough water to cover. Set aside.

In a bowl with a spatula and a pastry cutter [or in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade], combine the flour and salt. Blend well. Cut the cold lard into cubes and add to the flour. Cut in the lard just until the mixture resembles large flake oatmeal.

In a glass measuring cup, whisk the vinegar and the egg. Add enough of the reserved ice water to make 1/2 cup (125 mL). With the motor of the food processor running or while stirring vigorously, pour in the egg mixture. Blend until the mixture forms a ball.

Turn the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap. If necessary, knead to make a smooth ball. Press into a disk and wrap tightly. Refrigerate for 45 minutes. Roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness adding extra flour to prevent sticking. Cut to fit 5 oz (125 mL) muffin tins using a 6-inch (18-cm) cutter (or smaller if you want to make more tarts). Refrigerate until ready to fill. We filled them 3/4 full.

Bake 375 for 17-19 minutes

3 Comments leave one →
  1. The Slingluff Gallery permalink*
    September 6, 2011 7:10 PM

    If I’m brave enough…I’m going to try this too….:)

  2. lisalovescoffee permalink
    September 6, 2011 8:05 AM

    You will not be sorry, friend of the BT. And btw the home pictured it our chalet in Feversham, Ontario. We live in Toronto, in the heart of the city. I did not want you to think all of Ontario was this way 🙂

  3. September 5, 2011 4:15 PM

    Great recipe – will try making this!

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