Tuesday, 27 November 2007
Wha??? How can it be the end of November already?! Luckily I am not the only one taken by surprise and even though yesterday was the deadline for WTSIM…#11, this post might just squeak in to qualify for the round up for:
Huzza Huzza!! (wolf whistle)
(if you dare, click on image for larger view and more lurid photos)
Not long ago, T announced that he wanted to make butter tarts. Whoohoo!!! I LOVE butter tarts!! I especially love butter tarts that have been made with currants.
Here’s how the conversation went:
T: Do you know where our butter tart recipe is?
me: (squealing with delight) Tarts? Yay!!! It’s in the brown book. Are you going to use raisins or currants? (hoping the answer is “currants”)
T: Let’s use currants.
me: Good Answer!! …tarts!! Butter tarts!! mmmmm… with currants. Ooooh, I love butter tarts!! Are you making them today? Are they ready yet?
T: Whoa!!! I’m going to make a butter pie. Tarts are too finicky.
me: (horrified) No, no, they’re dead easy. If you make the pastry, I’ll get the tart shells ready. Because tarts are better!
T: Okay… Umm, there are two recipes for butter tarts in the brown book. Which one do we use?
It’s true. It had been a while since we’d made butter tarts (far too long, really…). When I looked in our recipe files, I couldn’t remember which butter tart recipe was Mom’s and which one was not. Because as far as I’m concerned, Mom’s butter tarts are the best.
And left T to it and forgot to re-iterate that I would get the tart shells ready…
makes one pie or many many tarts
(use half recipe if making tarts)
based on Mom’s recipe for Dora’s nut butter tarts
- 1 c unbleached all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp salt
- ⅓ c lard
- ICE-COLD water (anywhere from 2 Tbsp to ½ c)
- ½ c demerara sugar*
- ½ c sugar*
- ⅔ c corn syrup*
- ⅛ tsp seasalt
- ½ c melted salted butter
- 1 Tbsp vanilla
- 2 Tbsp white vinegar
- 2 eggs, beaten
- ½ c currants (or nuts and/or raisins)
- Pastry: Mix the flour and salt together in a bowl. Cut the lard into the flour and salt until it is pea sized. Add ICE-COLD water a little at a time and mix lightly until it is pastry consistency. Use a pastry cutter if your hands are warm or use your hands if you have cold hands like mine. Please note that the amount of water changes drastically, depending on the humidity. (For whatever pastry recipe you use, if it is very humid, reduce the amount of water called for.)
- Wrap it tightly in plastic. REFRIGERATE AT LEAST ONE HOUR.
- Filling: After the pastry has chilled, turn the oven to 400F. Put all the filling ingredients except the currants (or nuts and/or raisins) into a small bowl. Use a wooden spoon to stir it all together.
- Assemble the tart(s): Handling the pastry as little as possible, place it on a lightly floured board. Roll it out into a large round that will fill a pie plate. (Or if making tarts, cut circles of pastry large enough to fill tart tins or muffin tins if you like full figure deep dish tarts. Flute the edges of the pastry
- Evenly distribute the currants (or nuts and/or raisins) in the bottom of the pastry shell(s). Pour the filling overtop without actually overflowing the pastry.
- Bake butter pie at 400F for about 30 minutes. Tarts take less time (10 to 20 minutes, depending on the size of the tarts).
Let cool. Serve naked… as in “without any garnish” (What did you think??? This is a family blog!)
* N.B. Mom’s recipe calls for 2 cups golden brown sugar. We didn’t have any in the house, so T substituted with demerara and white sugar and corn syrup.
Even though I kept saying that it would be way better if it had been tarts, I have to admit here that butter pie is easily as good as butter tarts. I’ll even sign an affidavit to that effect. (But next time, I hope we’ll make lots of little butter tarts rather than one large butter pie. )
Jeanne (Cook Sister!) is hosting November’s WTSIM… She wrote:
Before we start another debate on what is or isn’t a tart, let me make it clear that a tart has NO TOP CRUST. In other words, the filling is clearly visible because there is nothing covering it – not a pastry lid, not a crumble, not a layer of mashed potato. Nada. Zip. Nothing. We are talking quiches, flans and tartes tatin. Savoury, sweet, hot cold – I don’t mind. Just topless. [...]
So throw away your
pastry lids and let’s all get topless bras
The deadline for WTSIM… topless tart! is 26 November, 2007. If you would like to participate, please read the following for more information:
edit 7 December 2007: Jeanne has posted the round up!