Sunday, January 22, 2012

Deep Dish Butter Tarts

I made these rich little treats quite a while ago for my Supper Club.  If you're from Canada you're probably familiar with the butter tart.  My mom used to make them quite often when I was a kid, so they're quite nostalgic for me.  I guess they're similar to pecan pie, but there is nothing quite like a gorgeous little butter tart.  I loved this recipe since it uses muffin tins so you get that much more tart crust.  Delish!

Pie Crust Pastry:
1 1/4 cups (175 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon (15 grams) granulated white sugar
1/2 cup (113 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) pieces
1/8 to 1/4 cup (30 - 60 ml) ice water
Butter Tart Filling:
1/3 cup (70 grams) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (210 grams) light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup (60 ml) light cream (half-and-half) (10% butterfat)
1/2 cup (120 ml) raisins or chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts)

Pie Crust Pastry:  In a food processor, place the flour, salt, and sugar and process until combined. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal (about 15 seconds). Pour 1/8 cup (30 ml) water in a slow, steady stream, through the feed tube until the dough just holds together when pinched. If necessary, add more water.

Turn the dough onto your work surface and gather into a ball. Flatten into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about one hour before using. This will chill the butter and relax the gluten in the flour. 

After the dough has chilled sufficiently, place on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough and cut into 12 - 4 inch (10 cm) rounds. (To prevent the pastry from sticking to the counter and to ensure uniform thickness, keep lifting up and turning the pastry a quarter turn as you roll (always roll from the center of the pastry outwards).) Gently place the rounds into a 12-cup muffin tin. Cover and place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to firm the dough. 
Butter Tart Filling: In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until creamy and smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and then the vanilla extract. Stir in the cream. If using nuts and/or raisins, place a spoonful in the bottom of each tart shell and then fill the unbaked tart shells with the filling. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for about 15 - 20 minutes or until the pastry has nicely browned and the filling is puffed and set. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
Makes 12 - 4 inch tarts.

Linked to:
Melt in Your Mouth Monday

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