Christmas Recipes For the Last Minute Panic People: Butter Tarts

Come along and cheat with me. Cheating is good for the soul. Let go of those crazy Christmas baking expectations and make something so delicious, so easy and so fast that you will weep with relief.

I make no secret of the fact that I totally cheat with my butter tarts. I don’t even pretend that I attempt to make my own shells. I buy pre-made, unsweetened no-name brand from Superstore. Which, by the way, are the only ones I have found without hydrogenated oil in them, so thank you Loblaws, for that little blessing. I honestly don’t know what I would do without those tart shells. I make- no word of a lie people- hundreds of butter tarts every Christmas season.

I bake around 4 dozen for my husbands work. This does not include the 5 dozen I have to send for their Potluck every year, that’s just his immediate co-workers who demand tarts every Christmas season.

I bake around 12 dozen for gifts. I bake for teachers, the wonderful lunch ladies at my kid’s school and my work.

I bake around 3 dozen for our own Christmas Day eating.

I think I’m around 300 tarts right there.

I have definitely considered trying to make my own shells, but never will it be for my huge tart making spree. It’s not even feasible. I will make my own for us personally, but for this massive baking need, you simply have to use pre-made shells.

The other thing is that I use margarine in most. People prefer the margarine taste. I cannot convince my family otherwise and my husbands work would freak right out if I changed anything on them.

Superstore No Name non-hydrogenated margarine is the ticket. It makes people flip out over the taste.

I have committed more baking cardinal sins with making my butter tarts (BUTTER tarts!) than in any other single recipe on my site.

But people love them. People have paid me to make them yearly for them – with margarine for that exact taste they want- and my husband knows when I use butter and turns up his nose at them.

I secretly make myself a batch every year with butter. I certainly have an affinity for the buttah.

So, feel free to sin along with me. These are fast and easy. Literally, it does not get faster than this and you end up with butter tarts to give away or to grace your Christmas dinner dessert table.

Ingredients Needed

1 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup of raisins
1/3 cup or margarine or butter, melted
1 egg
2 tablespoons of cream
1 tsp vanilla
15-18 unsweetened and unbaked tart shells

Kick the tires and light the fires to 375 degrees

Melt your margarine, then add in the vanilla,egg, cream and brown sugar. The lovely part about these is they are SO easy and fast to make. Throw it all in, mix the ever-livin’ devil out of it, and you are good.

Now add in your raisins, and half a cup is the bare minimum I use. I find that sometimes there is too much liquid and not enough raisins by the time I reach the end, be brave and just add in what you need at that point.

Put your tart shells, still frozen, on the tray and fill a good 3/4 of the way. I say still frozen because I have found when they are defrosted the filling leaks through the pasty, not ruining them, but making them softer. A good frozen tart shell will hold the contents in, and cook at the same time.

Bake in a 375 degree oven for 15-18 minutes, until the rims of the tarts are beautifully browned.

So go ahead.

Cheat. A lot.

You’ll feel all the better for it.

Love,

The Cheatin’, Mistreatin’, Butter Tart Eatin’ Magpie

How To: Make Butter Tarts
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
How to make tasty and simple butter tarts. A Canadian classic!
Author:
Serves: 16
Ingredients
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • ½ cup of raisins
  • ⅓ cup or margarine or butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons of cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 15-18 unsweetened and unbaked tart shells
Instructions
  1. Kick the tires and light the fires to 375 degrees
  2. Melt your margarine, then add in the vanilla,egg, cream and brown sugar. The lovely part about these is they are SO easy and fast to make. Throw it all in, mix the ever-livin’ devil out of it, and you are good.
  3. Now add in your raisins, and half a cup is the bare minimum I use. I find that sometimes there is too much liquid and not enough raisins by the time I reach the end, be brave and just add in what you need at that point.
  4. Put your tart shells, still frozen, on the tray and fill a good ¾ of the way. I say still frozen because I have found when they are defrosted the filling leaks through the pasty, not ruining them, but making them softer. A good frozen tart shell will hold the contents in, and cook at the same time.
  5. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 15-18 minutes, until the rims of the tarts are beautifully browned.

14 comments
Bonnie Hale
Bonnie Hale

Hi There,

Had great success with these.  Used GF pie crust and your recipe for the insides - DELICIOUS.  I am curious.....when you are giving them for gifts do you have some suggestions for packaging/wrapping them.

Thanks.
Bonnie

Keyko Davidson
Keyko Davidson

I love your blog! Merry Christmas to you and your family!

The Kitchen Magpie
The Kitchen Magpie

hahha! You know what, I love them in a beautiful homemade pastry. BUT this time of year is so busy for everyone, what working person has the time to make the fiddly ones? Even I don't and my job is cooking up recipes LOL!

Keyko Davidson
Keyko Davidson

I like the cheating idea... as I will never forget when my nephew looked at my butter tarts and said "They don't really look right"...

Keyko Davidson
Keyko Davidson

Butter tarts... such a part of Christmas for this first generation American from Canadian roots... I might just have to make some today!!!

Carrie B
Carrie B

Just made 4 dozen of these today. Two dozen I made with raisins and the other two dozen I made with pecans. LOVE them. They are now safely tucked away in the freezer for Christmas. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. 


Karlynn
Karlynn

I use no name Superstore ones, they have no hydrogenated oil in them. Tenderflake would work as well, any unsweetened premade tart shells will work.

Megan
Megan

could you please tell me the store/brand of tart shells you use? megan@buhlerfamily.org. I am searching for some and have only been able to find what I am looking for in Canada. I live in Salt Lake City, UT though so that's not very convenient. Thank you!