Anyone have a recipe for great butter tarts?

Butter tarts were a staple of my youth in Canada, eh. There don’t seem to be any where I live now, and my wife has never tasted one. I asked about them at the grocery store, and it was just like a line out of The Lovin’ Spoonful’s “Nashville Cats” - “'down south here ain’t nobody buys ‘em’, and I said, ‘but I will!’”

So I have to find a recipe for my wife. I told her they were similar to pecan tarts, substituting raisins for pecans, but the filling was different. She said, quote, “Oooooooooh!”

If anybody knows how to make the world’s best butter tarts, please post the instructions. Don’t leave anything out! (We’re baking impaired.)


Oh yeah, I have a great recipe! Being another Canadian in exile, I gotta make my own.


1 egg
½ cup soft butter (just butter left out on the counter. Margarine is ok, too.)
1 cup brown sugar (the light stuff, like we call Golden at home, know what I mean?)
2 teaspoons milk
½ cup raisins
½ cup walnut pieces
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix all together (really difficult, eh?). Drop into tart shells. Bake on 350 for about 10 minutes or so, or until the tart crust starts to brown a bit.

Do you need a pie crust recipe as well?

Hey, thanks! I appreciate it.

Well, being baking impaired, I don’t think either of us has ever made dough. We have The Joy Of Cooking, and it must have instructions in there for it. But if you know of a better or different way, please share!

Thanks again.

2 cups floor
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup lard or shortening

Rub to crumbs (or use pastry blender) and then add 1 beaten egg and enough milk to make a half a cup of liquid.

Well, I just took them out of the oven. I used graham cracker tart shells. Man, the place smells like heaven! I haven’t smelled that aroma since the '70s!

After they cool down and set, I’ll give you the report. Thanks again!

BTW, if anyone is following this, the recipe is enough to make exactly 6 butter tarts.

Omigod! These are great! They’re slightly different from the ones my mom made, but I think they’re possibly even better!

My wife was so impressed, she said that next time they have a bake sale at work, she’ll make a batch of these and take them in, as they’ll be totally different from what everybody else takes; and many, if not most of the people will never have had one before. They’re sure to be a hit.

The bake sale I refer to is a charity event they hold every so often. The staff volunteer to bring something, which is then judged, and they sell the rest. The winner gets bonus goodies, like a parking spot right in front of the building for a week, or a paid day off, or a week of being able to come in casual dress… stuff like that. With these butter tarts, my wife is sure to win again!

Thanks, Ginger!

No problem, glad to help. I personally LOVE them, and I have to be really careful about how many I make or I’ll eat them all. I only make them at Christmas time.

My cousin’s husband, who is Quebecois, tells me that the tarts are a lot like tarte a sucre, a French-Canadian pie (translates to SUGAR PIE).

You musta made awfully big tarts. The ones I make are about 1.5" across and shallow. Tartelettes, I guess.

These were made in Keebler graham tart shells, and I filled each one level across the top. I can see where if you had your own dough to work with, you could make smaller ones and get lots more. But your ingredient quantities worked out to fill six of them equally, with none left over.

I love how they came out chewy and crusty and dense, instead of soft and mushy like the ones you get at the store in Canada. These are some killer tarts! And yes, they basically are small sugar pies! My dentist will thank you later.


Again, you are very welcome. I know how happy it makes me when I bite into a butter tart.

This year, Mom and Dad are coming for Christmas, so SHE will make them. That’s even better!

That recipe sounds divine. I’m thinking of giving it a go this weekend. Do I have to add the nuts, though? I like them just fine, but hubby and kid 1 don’t care for them.

I didn’t put in the nuts this time. I just used half a cup of raisins, and they worked out fine. You’ll like them, really!

My neice doesn’t like raisins, so if she’s visiting I’ll make them without. My husband doesn’t like nuts, so I always make a batch without.

Rather than mixing the raisins and nuts into the filling, I normally just drop them into the tart shells themselves. That way I can customize what goes into each.