In America, there are no such things as butter tarts. You might get close with a pecan hand pie, but they don’t even come close. These are no mere shrunken pecan pies. A flaky pastry crust holds in a gooey, sweet, buttery filling that oozes out and explodes on your tongue with pure pastry ecstasy. Please don’t just take my word for it, make these ASAP. NOW. Immediately, as in THIS SECOND. GO!
I hope pie crust isn’t something that gives you people the fear. After all these years of public exposure and tutorials on the Food Network, on blogs, in magazines, it pains me to hear that some people are still afraid of making their own crusts. It is SO easy, and I would never lie to you. Especially about something as serious as pie crust. Honest injun.
I’m not going to tell you how to make crust, but I will give you the recipe at the end of this post. If you don’t already know how to make a successful crust, Google it. I will say, though, that I love making mini pies of any kind. They are just so fun to make. I’m not quite sure what it is, but I’m fascinated by making any kind of individual dessert, especially in miniature.
Butter tarts are no exception; pushing little rounds of pastry into muffin tins and smoothing them out like perfect little pies just fills me with glee. GLEE! Really. But enough about me, because this show is really all about the filling.
It couldn’t be easier to make. The hardest thing you have to do is melt butter. F’reals. Everything just gets whisked together and you pour it into your cute little pastry cups, like such:
If you want to throw in some walnuts, pecans, or raisins, put them in the cups first, otherwise they’ll just float on top and no one wants that. Remember to soak your raisins in hot water though to plump them up so they don’t taste like little tumors. Or you can just leave them plain, to experience the awesomeness of the butter tart experience in all of it’s ooey, gooey glory. Yup yup.
Action shot! Because they’ll disappear just as fast as you made them. Please heed my warning though– you WILL become addicted to these, they WILL cause you to up a dress size, and you WON’T be able to stop making them because everyone that tastes one will demand more, more, more! Print several copies of this recipe and keep it with you at all times as you will most definitely get tired of writing it out every time someone demands it. Yeeeeeooooooo! Recipe to follow.
1 lb lard
5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp vinegar, in a 1cup measure, and fill with cold water
Cut lard into flour and salt until it resembles small peas. You can use two knives for this, or a pastry cutter. Add water and vinegar preparation, mixing with a spoon or by hand. Once almost combined, turn it on to a floured counter top and work it until it comes together smoothly. Separate dough into two masses, and form them into 1 inch thick discs. Wrap them in cling wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup corn syrup
pinch of salt
Whisk all ingredients together. Just like that. Tah dah!
Heat oven to 375.
Roll out pastry crust to about 1/4 inch thickness. With a large circular cutter, cut them into 12 rounds. You might have to roll them thinner just to get them to fill the muffin tins up to the edges, but that’s just fine. I do it, it’s cool. With a shot glass, press the rounds into muffin cups and flatten out any of the overlapping crust so that you have a smooth wall. Rinse and repeat.
If making butter tarts with nuts or raisins, use about one teaspoon of whatever you’re using and put them in the pastry now. Once that’s done, pour the filling into the cups.
Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the crust is baked and the filling only jiggles slightly when you shake the trays. I highly recommend putting your muffin tins on a baking sheet as the filling tends to bubble up and spill over. Unless you like cleaning your oven, then go ahead and put them in as they are.
Hard as it may be, wait until they are absolutely cool before eating. Not only is this for your safety, but the filling will not set properly until it is cooled off. If you do not heed this warning, the filling will be too loose and will drip down your face, onto your pants, and you’ll look like a kindergarten kid. Just trust me, m’kay?
In other news: It took me three weeks to write this post. Not “I made them three weeks ago and now my lazy ass got around to telling you about it” three weeks, but more like “I started this post three weeks ago at a cafe but the internet crapped out on me so I’ve had to keep my computer on so I wouldn’t lose my work until I could get to another connection” three weeks. Which didn’t even matter anyways, because when I finally DID get a connection(at the college, thank science), I tried to save the post just in case something happened, and the damn thing ERASED it on me. So I had to start all over again. Lesson of the day: BACK. SHIT. UP. OFFLINE.
Also: Wedding cake status: Baked. I now have 50lbs of vanilla cake in my freezer, patiently waiting for Thursday, when I will cover it with icing. I am very proud of this.
Current earmeats: NERD.