Canadians love their butter tarts, which is probably why they’re a Christmas staple here… I am aware, however, that outside of Canada, many people have never even heard of them! And that, my friends, is a sad thing. So in case you haven’t already met, let me introduce you to the butter tart.
They are a simple, rich tart, consisting of a sweet, buttery filling (traditionally made of just butter, sugar, syrup, and egg), in a pastry crust. These days, however, often raisins are added, or sometimes nuts.
I once read that the butter tart is one of only a few genuinely Canadian foods. Perhaps that’s why we take them so seriously. From contests, to bake offs, to festivals, to tours… Yes, you read that right, there’s the Kawarthas Northumberland Butter Tart Tour in Ontario… Canadians can get fanatical about this little dessert. So I know that my veganisation of them has some people raising their eyebrows (Dad). Imagine, the audacity of some crazy, misfit baker trying to take the butter out of the butter tart! 😮
It was actually, surprisingly easy to do, with the help of vegan butter and tofu (I know, cray cray, right!)… I think I just heard a couple of butter tart purists faint 😉 … Over the years, I’ve tested several versions, but this one is the best. The secret? Many recipes cheap out and use corn syrup (I’m guilty of this too). However, if you want an authentic tasting Canadian butter tart, you’ve got to use real pure maple syrup. I can not stress this enough, it’s got to be the real stuff. ’nuff said.
I hope you enjoy this little taste of Canadian cuisine. And if you give them a try, let me know what you thought.
Vegan Butter Tart Bites
Author: Starr @ The Misfit Baker
Recipe Type: Dessert Cuisine: Canadian
Yields: 32 mini tarts
- 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
- 2 tsp Granulated Sugar
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1 cup Shortening, cold
- 1/4 cup Pureed Silken Tofu
- 2 tbsp Cold Water
- 1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1/4 cup Vegan Butter (I used Earth Balance)
- 1/2 cup Light Brown Sugar, lightly packed
- 1/2 cup Pure Maple Syrup, room temperature (not table or pancake syrup)
- 1/4 cup Pureed Silken Tofu
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1/8 tsp Salt
- 64 Raisins
Preheat oven to 375°F
To make the crust:
Stir together flour, sugar, and salt. With a pastry cutter (or two knives), cut shortening into mixture, until pieces are pea-size. Set aside.
Stir the pureed tofu, water, and vinegar together until thoroughly combined. Add to flour mixture and mix with a fork until the dough pulls together (this dough is very soft and pliable). Do not over mix. Place in refrigerator while preparing the filling.
To make the filling:
Beat together the vegan butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, pureed tofu, vanilla, vinegar, and salt until thoroughly combined (if your maple syrup is cold, the butter will clump making the mixing process difficult). Set aside.
Collect enough mini muffin pans to make 32 tarts. Divide the dough into 32 pieces and press into the cups of the muffin pans. Drop 2 raisins into each tart shell and spoon in filling until half way to two thirds full (more than that will cause them to bubble over and create a mess).
Bake for 10 – 12 minutes, until the filling is bubbly and the crust is golden.
Allow to cool for 1 minute before gently running a knife around the tarts to loosen any filling overflow. Allow to cool for another 5 – 10 minutes before removing from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.