September 11, 2013
Sweets/Baked Goods

Go South Butter Tarts

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Y’all can improve Canada-U.S. relations: Use cane syrup, beloved by Southerners, in the otherwise all-Canadian butter tart. This recipe is a spin-off from my best butter tarts. (See: Mrs. A’s Butter Tarts.) Using cane syrup instead of corn syrup makes for runnier tarts — an added appeal for those who are on the runny side of the runny vs. firm debate. If you in a patriotic mood, however, go with my maple syrup butter tarts. (Try: Maple Butter Tarts.) Of course, I went crazy and made them all!

      Cane syrup tarts are runnier. Credit: Susan Sampson


1 cup (250 mL) cane syrup
2/3 cup (160 mL) packed dark brown sugar (4-3/8 oz/120 g)
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp (2 mL) vanilla extract
1/4 tsp (1 mL) table salt
1/4 cup (60 mL) cold, unsalted butter, cut in tiny pieces
15 cold, uncooked, 3 inch (7.5 cm) tart shells

In medium pan, stir together syrup and sugar. Cook on medium heat, stirring twice, until mixture bubbles up and top is covered with foam. Immediately reduce heat to low. Simmer 5 minutes, or until thickened. Remove from heat. Cool 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, in heatproof bowl, whisk together eggs, vanilla and salt until just combined. While whisking constantly, slowly and gradually pour in syrup mixture. Stir in butter until melted. Cool 30 minutes, or until room temperature.

Preheat oven to 450F (230C).

Fill each tart shell two-thirds full. Bake in preheated oven 5 minutes. Reduce heat to 350F (180C). Bake until pastry is golden and filling is puffy but not too dark, 10 minutes (runnier tarts) to 15 minutes (firmer tarts).

Makes 15.

  • I am in the no-raisins, no-nuts contingent when it comes to butter tarts. However, for even more Southern appeal, you could sprinkle chopped pecans into each pie shell before pouring in the filling.

Shopping Cart: I bought Lyle’s Golden Syrup, a popular brand. (Brits love Lyle’s, too — another international connection.)

Kitchen Secrets: The easiest way to cut cold butter into tiny pieces is to shred the butter using the large holes of a box grater.