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Those who know me, know that I have a sweet tooth, and among my favourite sweets are butter tarts. I’m pretty fussy about my butter tarts, too. I don’t like them too sweet or runny, and I prefer them made with walnuts or pecans instead of raisins. The crust shouldn’t be too thick either.

When I travel to Sault Ste. Marie to visit family, I usually stop at the Antrim Truck Stop in Arnprior for a butter tart or two. They make one of the best I have found in my travels. Even better were the tarts that my late cousin Pat Fazi would often make when I visited the Soo. She can’t make them for me any more, but I have her recipe and I’m passing it on to you, dear readers.

Now, let’s get cooking!

Butter Tarts

Filling:

Mix 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 Tbsp. flour. Beat in thoroughly 1 egg, 1 Tbsp. milk, 1/2 tsp. vanilla, and 1/4 cup melted butter. Fold in 1/2 cup walnuts or pecans. Place 1 Tbsp. of mixture into each tart. Bake at 425°F for 15 to 20 minutes.

Pastry: 2 cups sifted flour, 1 Tbsp. salt, 2/3 cups lard, 1/4 cup water. Measure flour in mixing bowl and mix salt through. With pastry blender, cut in shortening until it looks like giant peas. Sprinkle with water, 1 Tbsp. at a time. Mix in lightly with fork until all flour is moistened. Gather dough with fingers until the bowl is clean. Press into a ball, wrap in wax paper and refrigerate 10 minutes. Divide into four parts, roll to about 1/8-inch thick, and use cookie cutter to make 4 half-inch circles of crust with which to line tart pan. Makes 12 tarts.

If you’re in a hurry or you’re not too good at making pastry, like me, a package of 12 frozen Tenderflake tart crusts will do the job nicely, though they may take a little less time to cook.

Here’s another recipe for a butter tart filling that is also very good, a little sweeter than the one above, that makes enough for 18 to 24 tarts.

Mix well, 2 cups brown sugar, 1/4 lb. soft butter, 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 cup corn syrup, 1 Tbsp. vinegar and 4 eggs (1/2 cup walnuts or pecans optional, recommended).

Now, let’s get cooking!

tombutkovich@cogeco.ca

Geographic location: Sault Ste. Marie, Arnprior

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