butter tarts

My mom makes these butter tarts, for her family, once a year. It takes us that long to recover. Imagine a perfectly crisp, flaky pastry cup filled with lovely plump raisins swimming in a buttery thick caramel pool. When she places the platter in the middle of her dining room table, all conversation halts as each one of us zone in on which of the little treasures we’ll pounce on first. I’ve actually caught Ralph trying to figure out which tart I’m looking at so that he can grab it first! We sound like a bunch of nutbars but the anticipation after three hundred and sixty five days of
waiting is more than any of my mom’s grateful family can politely bear.

I’ve only tried to make these tarts once over thirty years ago. I clearly struggle with failure. It wasn’t a little fail, it was a “what the heck” kind of fail. When I put the tarts in the oven, they looked perfect. When I took them out, they had morphed into little hockey pucks! I’m not embellishing. I used a screwdriver to pry them out of my muffin tins before I chucked them into the garbage pail.

I called Mom this morning before I started writing this post to see if she could help me figure out what I did wrong. Given how long ago it was and my spotty memory – selective blocking – the only thing we could come come with is that I must have used the wrong type of pastry. So although I have yet to build up the courage to try again, I can 100% confirm that these are the most delicious butter tarts in the world.

So where did these tarts come from? I photographed them just before Mom took them into the dining room. Had I waited, there would have been nothing but crumbs…

Butter Tarts

makes 18 tarts

preheat oven 400*F

line 18 muffin cups with pastry – set aside in a cool spot

1/2 cup golden raisins

1/2 cup light corn syrup

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 egg

1/4 cup butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

Place raisins in a small bowl and cover with hot tap water for 10 minutes then drain well.

Beat remaining ingredients together until well mixed

Divide raisins and batter between pastry cups

Place in preheated oven for 15 minutes

Remove from oven to a cooling rack until tarts are at room temperature.

THE LOVE: Only fill the pastry cups 1/3 full. Over filling will cause the tarts to stick so badly you won’t be able to remove them from the muffin tins.

printable copy

Thanks for reading.

one year ago: white bean mash