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Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Va va voom!! – (WTSIM…#11: topless tart!)

go directly to the recipe

recipe: Butter Tart(s), makes one pie or many many tarts

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:

Waiter, there’s something in my… topless tarts!

Huzza Huzza!! (wolf whistle)

(if you dare, click on image for larger view and more lurid photos)

butter tart Now that’s a butter tart!!

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…

Here is what T did to make his giant butter tart:

Butter Tart(s)
makes one pie or many many tarts
(use half recipe if making tarts)

based on Mom’s recipe for Dora’s nut butter tarts

pastry

  • 1 c unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ⅓ c lard
  • ICE-COLD water (anywhere from 2 Tbsp to ½ c)

filling

  • 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)

preparation

  1. 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.)
  2. Wrap it tightly in plastic. REFRIGERATE AT LEAST ONE HOUR.
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  5. 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.
  6. 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. :whee:)

Waiter, there’s something in my (WTSIM) …

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 bras pastry lids and let’s all get topless

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!

 

  1. Comment by Almost Vegetarian — 28 November 2007 @ 16:02 EST

    If I tell my ex-pat Canadian husband I found a nice recipe for a butter tart, he will pass out, then go stark raving insane until I make it, Now, if only I could find a way to keep this secret!

    Cheers.

    (And I am copying the recipe, just in case.)

  2. Comment by african vanielje — 28 November 2007 @ 18:57 EST

    I’ve never had butter tarts before but they sound yummy

  3. Comment by Jeanne — 29 November 2007 @ 07:09 EST

    OMG, I can hear the health food police bashing down your door with their battering ram as we speak ;-) This sounds rather a lot like treacle tarts that are popular here in England (which I was surprised to find contains no treacle ;-) )

    Yum!!

  4. Comment by ejm — 29 November 2007 @ 11:38 EST

    I am completely surprised to see from wikipedia that butter tarts are considered to be Canadian! You absolutely have to make these for your husband, AVegetarian! He neeeeeeeds to have butter tarts from time to time. :-)

    Butter tarts are yummy, AVanielje. Mom made butter tarts throughout the year, but they were always around at Christmas. She usually added Thompson raisins rather than currants. But because there were currants in the house for making mincemeat, Christmas butter tarts often had currants in them instead of raisins. Butter tarts… mmmmmm…..

    The Health Food Police? Bashing down OUR door?? I don’t know what you mean, Jeanne. :whee:

    I guess that butter tarts are a little like treacle tarts. But I’ve never seen a lattice-work topping on butter tarts. And butter tarts are generally served at room temperature – ungarnished. (At least they always were at our house.)

    excerpt from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treacle_tart

    A treacle tart is a traditional English dessert with a rich, treacle and breadcrumb filling in a pastry casing, traditionally with a lattice of pastry strips on top. […] A treacle tart is normally eaten steaming hot, with custard, cream or ice cream.
    […] In some parts of the United Kingdom, treacle refers to what is also known as golden syrup.

    excerpt from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butter_tart

    A butter tart is a type of pastry best known as a Canadian treat […] similar to the base of the U. S. pecan pie without the nut topping, and similar to the French-Canadian sugar pie. […] Yet similar tarts are made in Scotland, where they are often referred to as Ecclefechan butter tarts

    I took a look at the recipe link to the Scottish recipe and it looks pretty much the same as Mom’s recipe. Lots of Scottish people settled in Canada so it does make sense….

  5. Comment by Susan from Food Blogga — 1 December 2007 @ 11:45 EST

    I’m starting to believe you and others that tarts are easier than I had thought!

    Tarts couldn’t be easier to make, SfFB! Does that mean you’re going to try making some? I hope so! -ejm

  6. Comment by Jeanne — 13 December 2007 @ 12:35 EST

    A-hah! Glad to see you have retreated from your horrified comment on my round-up that treacle tarts have nothing in common with butter tarts! ;-) I also saw the Scottish recipe and thought it sounded similar. The recipe (from who knows where)that I cut out and kept did not mention a lattice on top either… Either way, I am now very taken with the idea of making a butter tart. Health food police or not!

  7. Comment by ejm — 13 December 2007 @ 16:28 EST

    Hmmm… I’m not sure that it’s exactly a retreat, Jeanne. I still think the treacle tarts sound nothing at all like butter tarts. Bread crumbs?! I think not! (although…. treacle tarts might be delicious too)

    I think you neeeed to make butter tarts. Do let me know when you do!

    Oh yes, and my horror was at the “US” in the phrase “US version of the English treacle tart”. (We’re rather sensitive about losing our identity – if we even have an identity – up here in the not yet 51st state north of the 49th parallel… :lalala:)

 

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