My Butter Tarts. They’re Even Famous.

Alright, the cat’s going to be let out of the bag, the chicken’s gonna flew the coop and all that jazz. Yes, I know that was horrible grammar, and the grammar police are coming as we speak. But not before I share my famous butter tart recipe, the one that is from my Grandma Marion’s archives of recipes.

Ok maybe not famous. But I DO really and truly have one paying customer who every Christmas emails me and asks for a good 6 dozen, and this year is no different. And does it make it better than she’s a baker’s daughter and she asks little ol’ ME to make her Christmas butter tarts? True story. You can ask her. She’s also another of my totally fabulous photographer friends. You can check out her site Fresh! Images by Tasha.

On to the butter tarts!

Ingredients Needed

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

So. Here is my deep, dark, nasty secret; I don’t use butter in my butter tarts. I know, I know. It’s false advertising, it’s a mockery of the name, yada yada yada. What it comes down to is :

a) Tasha, my one and only customer, never complains.

b) we have run tests in my very own kitchen with butter and margarine tarts, and margarine tastes better. Seriously.

So there you have it. My skeleton is out of the closest, my dirty laundry aired.

You can use butter if you want, but I urge you to seriously consider margarine. Baking purity be dammed, the taste is what matters, people.

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.

Now, perhaps next year I will try and make my own tart shells, and make my own pastry, but there’s an adage I like to use when it comes to my baking: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I have never had a complaint that I used pre-bought shells and actually everyone is too busy drooling and grabbing more tarts to really notice or care. The filling is the most important part, of course, but it works to perfection with the pre-made tart shells.

29 comments
Linda
Linda

Can these be frozen after being cooked.  We are just two and I would love to have a stock on hand.  I am sure we could eat a batch all at once, but our diabetic docs wouldn't like it!!!! lol.  How long would they last in freezer?  Should I freeze them uncooked or cooked?

toontownlady
toontownlady

just made these... I used whipping cream as the milk. . just to see how they will turn out... first time making these... I'm pumped. . thanks for the easy recipe!

Karlynn Johnston
Karlynn Johnston

I sometimes triple the recipe - don't follow photos for recipes, always follow the actual instructions!

Tanya
Tanya

How come the recipe calls for 1 egg but in the picture I see two yellow yolks?

Bernadette07
Bernadette07

The pre-made and home-made pastry shells are both excellent with this recipe. Yummy. Thanks for sharing. 


ZoesmomTracey
ZoesmomTracey

I also cheat and use bought shells.  My butter tarts fly off the plate at 60mph!

I like to use coconut and raisins.  I just put 6-8 raisins in each shell and a sprinkle of coconut, yummo! 

 

Brenda
Brenda

I have always had poor results from any baking that calls for melted butter or margarine.   Can I just use softened margarine and get the same results?

Kirstenw
Kirstenw

What brand of margarine do you use?

Tina
Tina

Love your outlook!  Just going to try these out right now. Don't fret about the premade shells cuz it's not the pastry they're interested in anyway! Fingers crossed!

Eva
Eva

This is the best recipe, period. Butter or margarine, it is the best.  Glad to know it can be doubled.  Thank you!!!

one persons view
one persons view

The recipe as written fills 15 tart shells. You should let people know they need to double the recipe to fill the 30 shells pictured. And why three eggs in the picture, but one in the recipe?

They smell heavenly!

joey
joey

I added a couple tablespoons of pancake syrup just cause....amazing! I also it instead of vanilla in cookies

 

Tracy
Tracy

I'm with spiffi, I grew up eating the best butter tarts in Edmonton!  Now live in Indiana and NO ONE knows what a butter tart is and you can't find frozen shells anywhere!  The one food I really miss from my childhood!

Karlynn Johnston
Karlynn Johnston

Merry Christmas Annette! Yes, this is an old classic recipe, enjoy it!!

Annette
Annette

This recipe is as close to my moms as I could find, batch #1is in the oven right now.... Thank you Karlynn, and merry Christmas from a fellow edmontonian.... :)

Nicl
Nicl

Do you the 2 tablespoons of milk represent the cream?

 

Thanks, looking forward to trying these!

Karlynn
Karlynn

Here in Canada I use the Real Canadian Superstore unsweetened No Name tart shells, they are the ONLY ones without hydrogenated oil in them. They are flaky and wonderful! I already bought a case of them in preparation for Christmas baking!

EC
EC

I haven't found great bought tart shells and making my own takes a lot of time. Bought ones are too thick and not flaky. Do you know of a good brand that maybe I haven't tried?

Kim L
Kim L

Just curious how many tarts this recipie makes, It sounds great and I would like to try it. Thanks.

spiffi
spiffi

I desperately want to make butter tarts this year - but I haven't been able to find any frozen tart shells! Growing up in Vancouver BC, we bought them every year - but since I've moved to California, I haven't found any! If any of your readers know of a source in the San Francisco Bay area, or online - please let me know!

Norsie
Norsie

These are the best darn butter tarts I have ever had...My friends ate them like they were going to the Gallows...Thank you Kitchen Magpie...You're awesome...I don't like to make pastry either...Hugs, and thanks a bunch

Keira C.
Keira C.

made these tonight =D But without raisins- They where Fan-freakin-tastic! Your right...Margarine is better.

Oleita
Oleita

Try prepared pie dough or Pillsbury crescent rolls

Karlynn
Karlynn

Now that depends on how much you fill them! I get varying amounts, but I will say from 14-18 tarts. Some people like theirs completely full, others skimpy. I usually double it and use a 30 roll of tart shells (since I cheat and never make my own, who has time for 300 handmade tart shells before Christmas?)

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