I meant to post this last weekend in honour of Canadian Thanksgiving. However, another baking project interfered...
On Tuesday, I ate two very typically Canadian foods, these butter tarts, and an entire double Coffee Crisp bar that my friend Caitie sent me from Canada. Being one day shy of 38 weeks pregnant I basically inhaled the chocolate and the nostalgia that came with it. There might have been some tears.
A few hours later, my water broke and the next day my best best baking came out of the oven and our baby daughter came into the world.
It was good to have a batch of these butter tarts at hand for Sam to grab quickly while I was in the hospital. In Switzerland, the typical hospital stay after giving birth is about four to five days, and while you are there they feed you like royalty.
The meals are three course, a salad or soup to start, a main, then dessert. And every evening before bed, another nostalgic treat, cold chocolate milk. Pair that with a butter tart and you have the energy you need for nights with a newborn.
My butter tart recipe is lifted almost directly from Canadian Living.
175 g flour
115 g butter, cold
2 tbsp water, cold
4 tbsp sour cream or plain yogurt
Mix the flour and salt in a medium sized bowl. Using a pastry blender or your fingers, cut the butter into the flour until you have buttery flakes.
Whisk water and sour cream or yogurt in a medium measuring cup, then add to the flour mixture and use a fork to mix it together.
Very gently work this together (adding a bit more water if necessary), then form into a disc. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Using some flour, roll out the dough and cut into twelve 10 cm circles. Press the circles into a muffin tin and put in the freezer until ready to bake.
150 g brown sugar
125 ml maple syrup
100 g butter, melted
pinch of salt
1 tbsp cider vinegar
100 g cranberries
100 g pecans
Whisk together everything except the cranberries and pecans.
When you are ready to bake
Preheat oven to 180 C / 350 F / gas mark 4.
Fill each of the cups of the muffin tin with pecans and cranberries until they are evenly distributed.
Pour the liquid filling into each cup, covering the pecans and cranberries.
Bake for about 25 minutes, until the pastry is nicely golden and the filling has set.
As soon as you take the tarts out of the oven, run a knife around the edge of each tart. Let them cool in the pan.
- Be sure to loosen the tarts from the pan by running a knife around the tart as soon as they come out of the oven. This ensures that they do not stick to the pan and break when you try to remove them later.
- You can substitute the cranberries and pecans for other nuts and dried fruit, or chocolate, or you can leave out the additions altogether and make them plain.