Sunday, December 16, 2007

Butter Tarts!

The butter tarts worked! Especially the second batch. I had some great help from Child #4 (no long-handled wooden spoon was involved this time) who is, apparently, a talented baker. Who knew?

First, I started with a tart shell. Here's the recipe from The Fannie Farmer Cookbook:

1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 pound cold butter, in small pieces
1 egg yolk
2 Tablespoons ice water

In a food processor, process the flour, salt and butter quickly. Through the funnel, add the egg yolk and ice water and process until the dough balls up. Wrap in foil and place in fridge for 20 min. Then roll out, cut circles with a cup and press into mold. Prick bottom of tarts with a fork and bake unfilled at 425 for 7 min. (The recipe says 12 min., but that was too long.)

These are the molds that worked best. I tried a muffin tin, but the tarts ended up being just that little bit too shallow. These silicone molds were the perfect deepness to get a slightly runny tart.

And now (drum roll) for the buttertart recipe. The one I used is from a Mennonite cookbook: Food That Really Schmecks.

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup raisins
1 egg, beaten
2 Tablespoons butter (not margarine!), melted
1 Tablespoon water (or less if you use a large egg)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat egg. Add brown sugar. Beat again. Add remaining ingredients. Fill shells 1/2 full. Bake at 450 for 15 min. (I only baked for 12 min., so start checking the tarts early).

Here is a photo of the finished product. On the left is the drier, muffin-tin tart. On the right is the deliciously runny, perfect-with-a-cup-of-tea-or-coffee-or-even-hot-chocolate tart. Yummy!


  1. It's a bit unnerving to find a writer who is also a good cook.... I've successfully convinced my family that domesticity of any kind and being a writer are mutually exclusive!!!

  2. Thanks!! I look forward to trying this.


  3. buttertarts are HUGE here, but I never had one before I moved to Canada. I'm making buttermilk sugar cookies today- while doing in edits. Or at least that is the plan. Or I could nap. It could go either way right now.

  4. Oh please pass me one of the runny butter tarts!!! A "real true" butter tart is a runny butter tart!! These look sssoooo good!

  5. I never heard of buttertarts. They do look good. Child #4 didn't elbow you this time, either. What more could you ask for?

    Thanks for sharing the recipe. I'll take your word for it that the slightly runny ones are best. :)

  6. Think you couldn't make them without the raisins? They are right up there with olives for me. They do sound good though.

  7. I'll take a dozen of the runny ones - please!

  8. I have to admit to NEVER having a butter tart. The non-runny one somehow seems more appealing. But what do I know?

  9. Sara, I am not really a good cook. Just ask my children! Ha!

  10. Jen, let me know what you think of butter tarts! Bon appetit!

  11. Eileen--so did you get your cookies baked? Or did you nap?

  12. Sherry, I agree. The runny ones are the BEST!

  13. Hi Shari! I may limit Child #4 to recipes not involving a lot of stirring. :) Then again, it's always fun to add a little risk...

  14. Kelley, you absolutely could not make butter tarts without raisins. Because they're one of the main ingredients! :) But...let's ask Sara Hantz for her treacle tarts recipe. Maybe that would be more up your alley. :)

  15. Beth--if I could, I would deliver a dozen to your door!

  16. Alyssa, runny is definitely the only way to go. Yummy!

  17. Your butter tarts were delicious and I think you said that I didn't even get one of the good batch. Also, much thanks for the rescue at the mutual party. I didn't realize you had been sent on said rescue mission until I was informed by the less brave sendee. I appreciate your support in the trenches.

  18. Barb, I will have to make butter tarts again--all like the 2nd batch!


Comments are always welcome!