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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Buttertarts and Buttertart Mini's ~ A Canadian Classic

This is one of those Very Canadian treats.  Buttertarts!  My grandma used to make them all the time and it was always a fight over who would get the last one. 

I think the best thing I can equate it to is it's similar to a Pecan Pie for my American friends and readers.  You really must try this recipe.  You will never regret it.

My gran's recipe disappeared after she passed away.  Try as I might to find a copy I've not been able to.  So, I scoured the net looking for one, asked friends for their gran's recipe if they had one.
I wanted to make a tried and true recipe.  My friend JDurnford passed along her Grandma's recipe, and I ended up combining it with several others I found online to pretty much come up with a version I thought might work.  INDEED it did!!  I made them as mini's because they will be going into the cookie gift tins.  
The recipe makes approx 24 regular muffin cup buttertarts, or 48 mini ones. These bake up really quickly so if you are in a hurry use a premade shells or dough.

Pastry Shells (as taken off the back of my lard box)
1 lb lard
6 cups pastry flour (5 1/2 all purpose flour)
2 tsp salt
1 egg
1 tbsp vinegar
Cold Water

Mix together flour and salt
Cut in lard with pastry blender or 2 knives until a course oatmeal like texture is achieved
In a one cup measure lightly beat the egg, add the vinegar and cold water to bring it to 1 cup (250 ml)
Gradually stir the liquid into the flour mixture. Add only enough water to make the dough cling together.

Gather into a ball and divide into 6 equal sized portions.  If desired, wrap unused portions and freeze.  Roll out the dough on a pastry cloth or lightly floured surface.  Chill for 1-2 hours if sticking.

Roll dough to approx 1//8-1/4 inch thick depending on the size of the muffin tins. (1/8 for mini, 1/4 for standard).   Cut dough with a round glass or cookie cutter and mold them into greased muffin tin (I use Pam)

1 egg
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 cup chopped pecans (if desired)
1/2 cup raisins (if desired)

Combine all the ingredients and mix well.  Spoon mixture into the prepared shells.  If using mini's about a teaspoon worked well for me.  For larger ones, fill the cup to a little more than 1/2 full.  No more than that.

Mini's I baked at 375 F for 10 minutes, removing from oven and letting cool to touch before transfering them to a cooling rack.  This avoided them setting and sticking to the pan if any of the filling had expanded above my dough line.

Standard one instructions were to bake anywhere from 375-400 F for 10 minutes.

These were so good.  A+ in this house.  The kids walked in the door and tasted them immediately.  Two thumbs up from the junior contingent.

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