When you want the yummy gooey-ness that is butter tarts, but don’t want the work of rolling & forming individual pieces, this brilliant recipe from Bonnie Stern is exactly what you need!
Simple usually is best~
Just when you think you couldn’t possibly improve on butter tarts, along comes an idea so stunningly simple, you smack yourself in the forehead and say… “why didn’t I think of that!”
With the prep time cut considerably, it means having this most Canadian of desserts, more often. Easier recipes…. now that’s something we can all get behind, and in fact, I used only one bowl for the recipe – first for the pastry, and then for the filling!
Adding. Changing. To your taste~
While I’m a purist when it comes to butter tarts, you of course, can add what you like. Raisins. Pecans. Walnuts. Etc. While the recipe calls for corn syrup, I didn’t have any so used (real) maple syrup. It altered the flavour in a most pleasant way, and left the filling a little soft. Perhaps a mix of half of each would be a good compromise… (FYI corn syrup is not something I’m crazy about using, so don’t usually have it.)
I’ve also made these squares cutting down on both butter & sugar in the pastry, knowing how rich the filling is; all amounts will be in the recipe. Use what you think best, and if you have a fave pie pastry type recipe, by all means use it. As long as it’s flaky, and not too sweet, it’ll be great.
Take ’em anywhere.
Being easy to make and easy to carry is a winning combo! From treats for the office, to coffee with neighbours, and yes, even a school bake sale… (do they still have those lol…) they’ll be a hit! Let’s not forget summer picnics, and yes I am thinking ahead as we’re still in the throes of winter.
Butter Tart Squares
for the pastry:
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar cut down from 1/4 cup
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter cold & cut into cubes (cut down from 1/2 cup)
for the filling:
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup maple syrup subbed for corn syrup
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter melted & cooled
- 2 large eggs lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 teaspoons flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
*optional: 1/2 cup raisins, pecans, walnuts, etc
Heat oven to 350°F.
Line an 8” square baking pan with 2 pieces of parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides.
Spray or butter lightly (for easy removal to lift out, and cut.)
In a medium bowl, combine flour and sugar. Cut in butter until it’s the size of small peas. Put some between your fingers and make sure it will clump/form together.
Hold up the bowl and using your other hand scoop out the pastry, while also wiping the bowl, into prepped pan and set aside.
Using the same bowl, add the filling ingredients and whisk until combined. Stir in any optional extras you're using.
Pour into the prepared based and bake for 25 - 30 minutes, until golden and filling is just jiggly in the middle when you give the pan a little shake.
Let cool on rack until set, then place in fridge to chill before cutting.
Do use the parchment paper slings; it makes for easy removal and cutting of the squares. Even if any of the filling gets behind it, causing the squares to stick, you can still use a knife, to gently pry them free.
Corn syrup will give a thicker filling than maple syrup. If you do like the taste of maple, perhaps using half of each is a good fix.