Make it: Knee-buckling walnut pecan butter tarts

Walnut Pecan Butter Tarts. (Mike Hensen/QMI Agency)

Walnut Pecan Butter Tarts. (Mike Hensen/QMI Agency)

JILL WILCOX, Special to QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:56 PM ET

Butter tarts are one of those revered Canadian sweet treats that have a loyal following.

I have listened to debates about what the ideal filling should be composed of as well as heated discussions on whether lard or shortening should be used for the pastry.

There are about as many recipes as there are opinions for this classic tart that features butter, eggs and sugar as the core ingredients.

My starting point for this week’s recipe was to comb through an assortment of recipes that I have compiled over the years. I’ve added walnuts and pecans to make a “nutty” version of this classic. The pastry for the tarts features both butter and shortening.

These tarts feature that often sought after “runny” filling that oozes out when you take a bite of them warm from the oven.

WALNUT PECAN BUTTER TARTS

Pastry

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 cup (375 ml) all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. (1 ml) salt
  • 1/4 cup (50 ml) cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup (50 ml) cold shortening
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp. (5 ml) white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup (50 ml) ice water

Directions:

In large bowl, combine flour with the salt.

With a pastry blender, blend butter and shortening into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

In a small bowl whisk egg yolk with vinegar and water.

Drizzle the liquid over flour mixture, stirring with a fork until pastry starts to come together.

Form into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for an hour.

Filling:

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) golden corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup (50 ml) table cream
  • 1/4 cup (50 ml) golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup (50 ml) chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup (50 ml) chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup (50 ml) melted butter

Directions:

In a bowl, lightly beat the eggs with a fork. Beat in the brown sugar, corn syrup and cream.

To assemble, roll out the pastry dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/8-inch (3 mm) thickness. Using 4-inch (10 cm) round cookie cutter, cut out 12 circles. (Re- roll any scraps if necessary). Fit into muffin cups.

Divide the raisins, walnuts and pecans among the pastry shells.

Pour the filling mixture over top of the raisin/nut mixture.

Top each with 1 tsp. (5 ml) of the melted butter.

Bake in a preheated 375F. (190C) oven for 20 to 25 minutes.

Remove and let cool for 5 minutes before removing tarts from pan.

Makes 12 tarts.


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