Thursday, March 02, 2006

Butter Tart Squares

Butter tarts are probably one of the Canada's most popular homegrown desserts. According to Wickipedia, butter tarts were a staple of pioneer Canadian cooking, and they remain a characteristic pastry of Canada, considered one of only a few recipes of genuinely Canadian origin.

Butter tarts can come in a multitude of variations and most Canadians have a favourite. They can be made plain or enhanced with chocolate chips, nuts or raisins. The shortbread pastry is topped with a filling consisting of butter, eggs, brown sugar, corn syrup, vanilla and vinegar. Of course, as with all other recipes, there are many adaptations with regards to ingredients. Some people like their filling gooey so that sweet syrup drips down the chin while others prefer their filling a little more set. To prove that Canadians take their butter tarts seriously, check out "What makes a great butter tart?" at the CBC website.

The version of the butter tart I made are actually squares and come from Wanda's Pie in the Sky. They're an easier and faster take on the tart but their essence is the same. This version bakes up handsomely and has a good balance of butter pastry and toothsome filling. I made these plain and they are really at their best at room temperature or chilled in the refrigerator. They are rich, smooth and perfect with tea. A great Canadian treat.


Randi said...

The very first meal I have ever had with Robin was at Tim Horton's. She got a buttertart and told me I just had to try it. She loves them., I find them a tad too sweet.

Canadian Baker said...

Hi Randi - I know some people feel the same way as you...they're too sweet. I think most(not all)Canadian desserts such as sugar pie and Nanaimo bars use liberal amounts of sugar and are best enjoyed in small quantities. :) Take care!