Butter tart trail

The township of Wellington North has a Butter Tart Trail. For real! This article from the Toronto Star (3 December 2008) will whet your appetite, but you’ll also need the official map to plan your visit properly.

Since we’re on the topic, our favourite butter tart has for years been Wesley Edward’s from the Humble Pie Bakery in Baysville, Ontario. (Note that we have not yet tried any of the ones from Wellington North.) Sadly, Humble Pie is no more. Luckily, the recipe appeared in an issue of the LCBO’s Food and Drink in 2002, and we’ve copied it out below. Bake to keep the Humble Pie butter tart alive!

Warning: It is highly likely that there will be crying the first time you try this recipe. The crying will probably be related to rolling out the pastry. Our only advice is to make sure the dough has been adequately chilled and to use fresh wax paper for each rolling. And don’t forget to breathe. The end result is worth it.

preparation time: 45 minutes
crying time: 3 minutes
recovery time after crying: 15 minutes
baking time: 30 minutes
cooling time: 2 hours
emergency contact: wil or camille

1 1/4 cup (300 mL) vegetable shortening
1/4 cup (50 mL) unsalted butter
4 cups (1 L) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) salt
1/4 cup (50 mL) cold water

1/2 cup (125 mL) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (250 mL) packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) vinegar
1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) vanilla
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups (300 mL) corn syrup
1/2 cup (125 mL) raisins

Preheat oven to 180C/350F.

Cream shortening and butter together by hand or with electric mixer. Sift in flour and salt. Mix until crumbly. Stir in enough cold water to make a soft dough. Knead together for 30 seconds or until dough comes together.

Roll dough out between two sheets of parchment or waxed paper, until 1/8-inch (3-mm) thick. Cut into 4-inch (10-cm) circles to fit muffin pans. Ease into muffin pans. Chill for 30 minutes.

For the filling, cream together butter, sugar and salt. Add vinegar, vanilla, eggs and corn syrup. Don’t over-mix. Chill for 30 minutes. Stir together before filling tarts.

Fill each pastry shell with 1 tsp (5 mL) raisins. Spoon about 1/4 cup (50 mL) syrup mixture into every cup. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in pans on a rack. The tarts take approximately 2 hours to set; refrigerate to speed up the process. With a small, sharp knife cut around tarts and ease out of tins.

Makes 12 to 14 large butter tarts.

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