Canadian Maple Butter Tarts (Including TM Method)
Not for the faint hearted when it comes to sweetness, this decadently gooey-sticky-sweet dessert is the quintessential Canadian sweet treat and extremely simple to prepare.
The first published recipe in Canada for the Butter Tart dates back to 1900, however some believe that they actually date back to the 1600s when 800 young women were sent to Québec from France to help colonize the nation and prepared “tart au sucre” (Sugar Pie) the precursor to the quintessentially Canadian Butter Tart, with the New World ingredients at hand which included maple syrup.
After so many years, this simple tart continues to stir much emotion among Canadians who fall into two extremely loyal camps: runny or firm filling, as well as those that prefer them with or without raisins or nuts.
I like to do a mixture of plain, nuts, raisins and even crispy bacon. There is nothing better than the smells emanating from the oven when maple syrup is added to the equation. You be the judge!
(Makes 24 x 10cm (4in) tarts)
Shortcrust Pastry (or use a commercial shortcrust pastry)
300g (2 1/4 cups) flour
3/4 tsp salt
40g (2 tbsp) sugar
250g (1 cup) unsalted butter, very cold, cut into 1cm cubes
10ml (2 tsp) white vinegar
40-60ml (2 – 3 tbsp) cold water
200g (1 cup) packed light brown sugar
250g (1 cup) pure Canadian maple syrup
90g (1/3 cup) butter, melted (Thermomix: 3min | 55C | SP1)
2 large eggs, at room temperature
10ml (2 tsp) cider vinegar
5ml (1 tsp) vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
Leave tarts plain or add any of the following:
200g (2 cups) chopped walnut or chopped pecans
1 cup raisins or currants
1 cup crispy bacon, coarsely chopped
Making tart pastry
Whisk together flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl.
Rub (or pulse in a food processor) in butter until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
Stir in vinegar and cold water with a fork then turn dough out onto a very lightly floured surface and press firmly until the dough comes together. trying not to overwork it so the pastry will be flaky.
Divide into two and flatten each into a 2.5cm (1 inch) thick disc. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour.
On a floured surface, roll dough to 5mm (1/8in) thickness. Cut 24 x 10cm (4in) discs, reusing any of the off cuts. Press discs into the base of two regular muffin trays. Refrigerate or place in freezer for one hour. (Make ahead tip: Pastry lined muffin trays can be frozen for later use).
Place flour, sugar and salt into TM bowl and combine: 10sec | SP3.
Add cubed cold butter and process until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs: 7sec | SP5.
Add vinegar and cold water and knead: 10sec | Knead until pastry just holds together when pressed between fingers. Turn dough out onto a very lightly floured surface and press firmly until the dough comes together. trying not to overwork it so the pastry will be flaky.
Continue from Conventional Method above.
Butter tart maple filling
In a large bowl, whisk together brown sugar, melted butter, maple syrup, eggs, cider vinegar and vanilla to combine well.
If using any of the nuts or bacon, divide 1-2 tsp of your preferred filling into the base of each tart base. Spoon maple/butter filling mixture into each tart to fill three-quarters full.
Place butter into TM bowl and melt: 3 min | 55C | SP1.
Insert butterfly and remaining ingredients and whisk to combine: 1 min | SP3.
If using any of the nuts or bacon, divide 1-2 tsp of your preferred filling into the base of each tart base. Pour maple/butter filling mixture into each tart to fill three-quarters full.
Baking Maple Butter Tart
Bake in a preheated 200C (400F) oven for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 180C (350F) for a further 10 minutes until filling & pastry becomes golden and filling starts to bubble.
Remove from oven and let cool in tray for 10 minutes before gently running a knife around each tart to loosen and remove to cool completely on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container once cooled.