Butter Tarts with Raisins

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I recently learned that Butter Tarts are a Canadian thing.  All I can say to my American readers is you’ve been missing out.  I appreciate some of your specialties…the Olive Garden, Target -which is in Canada now, but still better in the US, Hobby Lobby, Disney World.  But, right up there with some of the great Canadian contributions to the world, like maple syrup and back bacon, are butter tarts!

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This is the recipe that my mom makes.  At every family holiday her famous butter tarts are always on the menu! When I was a little girl my mom often baked pies, secretly I always hoped she would use the left over dough and make me a dozen or two of these little beauties.

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I’d have to say they are one of my absolute favourites.  I’ve tried to make them a few times, but I’ve usually been a little disappointed in them -because of the pie crust, the filling is a winner, winner, but the pie crust, is a bit tricky to get tender and flaky.  My mom is AMAZING at making pie crust…me, not so much.  She has tried to encourage me, eating my attempts and praising me.  Last time I made a bad pie, she promised I was just not using her pie crust recipe.  So for this attempt I went back to her tested and true, Crisco No-Fail Pie Crust.

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This time I cracked it.  They were so, so good.  Now that I’ve secured the perfect pastry recipe; on to the filling….  My mom learned to make them with her grandmother, she even still uses my great grandma’s old tart tins.  And the tart tins that I use, were actually my grandmas, so it’s a little sentimental for me.  In our family, we always make butter tarts with raisins, but others make them without, or sometimes use nuts.  I like them best with raisins -but I have to say -I’ve never really met a butter tart I didn’t like.

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Butter Tarts with Raisins


  • 1 batch of double crust pie pastry
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 6 tbsp corn syrup
  • 4 tbsp soft butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 3 tbsp milk


  1. To make the filling, combine the egg, brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, vanilla, salt, raisins, and milk in a large bowl, and stir to combine well.
  2. Prepare 2 dozen tart shells from pie dough, and fill with about 1 tbsp of filling, depending on their size.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20-25 minutes, until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling.
  4. Remove from the pan while they are still hot as the filling becomes sticky as they cool.

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The tart filling also freezes wonderfully.

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With home made butter tarts, life really is a party.

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