Canadian Butter Tarts: #101 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

If you’re not Canadian, you might not know what a butter tart is – it’s a bit like a mini pecan pie but with raisins instead of pecans. We can’t find them here in California, so we make them ourselves sometimes for a bit of a taste of Canada. Bon appetit!

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($7 total)

1 cup raisins – $1.00
2 eggs – $0.58
1/3 cup honey or corn syrup – $0.75
1 cup brown sugar, packed – $0.52
3 tbsp butter, melted – $0.47
2 1/2 cups flour – $0.40
1/4 cup sugar – $0.22
1/2 tsp salt – $0.03
1 cup butter, cold – $2.48
3/4 cup ice water – free


1. Make the filling: Soak the raisins in boiling water for 20 minutes to plump them up, then drain the water.

In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, honey, brown sugar, and melted butter until well combined, then stir in the raisins. 

2. Make the dough: In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, and salt together. 
Cut in the cold butter with a knife until it’s pretty finely chopped into crumbs (don’t use your hands or it will over-warm the dough). Then stir in the ice water with a fork until you get a nice ball of dough coming together.

On a lightly floured board, roll out the dough to about 1/8″ thick, then cut 4″ circles out using a glass or cookie cutter. Press them into a muffin tin (or press the dough into a large pie pan for a single, giant butter tart).

3. Spoon the filling into the pastry cups, all the way up to the top but not spilling over. 

Bake at 450F for 5 minutes, then open the oven for 20 seconds to let some heat escape and turn the heat down to 350F to bake for another 15 minutes. They should be bubbling and a deep brown color when they’re done.

Cool for 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and serve warm. They also freeze well for reheating at another tea time.

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 2 = 1-3 hours
  • Servings:  3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per person (prices based on Trader Joe’s/Costco): 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 2 = decent meal
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 1 = eat rarely
  • TOTAL: 14/18

If you tried it, please let me know how it came out for you. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

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