Butter Tarts

butter tarts
For the tart shells:

  • 5 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 lb. vegetable shortening, cut into pieces
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp. white vinegar

For the filling:

  • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup corn syrup
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1.5 cups walnuts, chopped

  1. For the tart shells: Combine flour, and salt in bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to combine. Add shortening and pulse a few times until the mixture forms very coarse crumbs. Whisk together egg, vinegar, and 1 cup cold water in a measuring cup and with the motor running add to the mixture in food processor. Continue to process until mixture forms a ball (doesn’t take long, a few seconds). Remove dough from food processor and press dough into a rough ball, then transfer to a lightly floured surface. Give dough several quick kneads with the heel of your hand to form a smooth dough, then shape into a ball. Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight.
  2. For the filling: Combine butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, and corn syrup in a saucepan over low heat; stir until butter melts and mixture is well combined. Set aside to cool for 3-4 minutes. Beat 1 of the eggs in a small bowl, then add to filling and mix well. Repeat with remaining eggs. Stir in vanilla and set aside.
  3. Heat oven to 425°. Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface to a 1/4” thickness. Use a 4” round cookie cutter to cut out 24-36 rounds, gathering dough scraps into a ball and re-rolling as needed. Fit rounds into standard-size muffin tins, then fill each with a sprinkling of walnuts and about three-quarters full with filling. Bake until crusts are lightly golden and filling is barely set, 10-14 minutes. Cool tarts, then lift out of tins with a knife.

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