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Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Butter Tart Tutorial

I made this last Saturday night and we had it for Easter dessert. My first time ever making a tart and it was so good! The best way I can describe the filling is that it's similar in texture to the stuff in pecan pie, only not topped with nuts. It's very, very sweet, though. It would have to be a once in a while treat for us.

First make your crust. Here's my easy crust recipe. So easy you don't even have to roll it. Now that's my kind of crust!:

  • 3/4 cup butter (I used margarine, but in the future, I'd use the real stuff) at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups flour, all purpose


  1. Dump all ingredients in a bowl and mix until well blended.
  2. Pat into a 9 inch pie pan. As with all crusts, DO NOT stretch! Pat evenly into place and up the sides of your dish.
  3. Use a fork to prick holes all over so the crust will bake evenly.
  4. Add filling and bake according to recipe instructions. For most pies/tarts, I'm guessing you could leave as is or bake beforehand, whichever you prefer.

On to the filling recipe, the original of which can be found here. The opinions and suggestions for things to do while you make it is my odd way of making it more interesting.


  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup corn syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Unbaked tart shells ( I used one big pie pan instead of making individual tarts. It's all about easy!)
Preheat oven to 350F. Boil corn syrup with sugar for 5 minutes, until fully dissolved. Lift your toddler up for a peek so he can declare the mixture "Prilly!" and then allow him to rummage in the kitchen drawers so he can pretend to "Gook" like Mama.

Add butter and stir well, trying to make artsy swirly designs with the quickly melting medium. Ooh and aah with aforementioned toddler and then heave a collectively sad sigh when the pretty yellow swirls disappear. Let cool until just warmer than room temp.

Here's what it looked like after the butter was melted in and it was set aside to cool.

This is the part where you realize you forgot to prick holes in the crust and rush to correct the problem. It's a good thing you had to wait for the filling to cool! Dash down the hall like a mad woman to see what just made your little boy scream like he was getting his fingers chopped off. After soothing the little adventurer, who somehow managed to lock himself in a closet, settle him with hugs and a snack to munch on and get back to the kitchen! Grab a fork and randomly prick holes all over the crust to the beat of "Camptown Races" as your child tries to laugh at you and not choke on his snack at the same time.

Meanwhile, (after saving your crust from perhaps coming out like hardtack) in a mixing bowl, beat eggs and vanilla. Add egg mixture to sugar syrup.

Stop what you are doing and put your child down for naptime and return to the kitchen to (hopefully) complete this tart in peace. Pour filling into unbaked tart shells or really huge tart shell masquerading as a pie crust (about 2/3 full). Bake for about 15 minutes. Time may vary depending on how large your butter tarts are. No kidding. Tartzilla took nearly an hour to be non jiggly in the center.

VoilĂ ! Let cool and enjoy with an unsweet beverage to avoid sugar shock.  Feel free to repost these recipes and try 'em yourself. You might find a new favorite!

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