Butter tarts are a classic Canadian dessert, but you definitely don't need to be from Canada to include them in your baking repertoire! These tarts are a buttery and sweet (and almost salty) melt-in-your-mouth pastry that may or may not also contain raisins. So if you don't like raisins, no worries – you can leave them out and this treat will still be unbelievably delicious.

Classic Canadian Butter Tarts [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

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Ingredients

Tart Pastry:
  • 2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (or gluten-free all-purpose flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter, well chilled
  • About 1/2 cup ice cold water
Tart Filling:
  • 3/4 cup seedless raisins, soaked in warm water (if they’re already soft, you can skip this all together), optional
  • 2 tablespoons boxed egg replacer
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup, or golden corn syrup
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch or potato starch
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (only if using corn syrup)
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
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Preparation

To Make the Pastry:
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and sugar.
  2. Using a pastry cutter or two forks, cut the shortening and butter into the flour until it looks a bit like oatmeal. Add the cold water in tablespoonfuls until the crust comes together in a loose ball.
  3. Form into a disc shape, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  5. Flour and roll out to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into large circle and fill the muffin tins with the cut out pastry.
  6. Bake for about five minutes, in the lower third of your oven, just to make sure the crust is cooked at the bottom. Take out, let cool a little before filling.
To Make the Filling:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Set raisins aside to soak, if using.
  2. Beat all other ingredients together until they are smooth.
  3. Add about 1 teaspoon of raisins to each prepared tart shell. Scoop about half a tablespoon of filling over the raisins, making sure they’re not too full.
  4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the filling has set and the pastry is starting to turn golden brown.
  5. Using a knife to loosen the sides of the tarts, remove and let cool completely on a baking rack. You can refrigerate or freeze these until you’re ready to serve at room temperature.

Notes

You can also use tart shells, but you’ll get more tarts in the end. Same rules for filling apply, just make sure it’s not too full.

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