By George’s “Best Butter Tarts – Ever”

At the By George Journal, we know the “best butter tarts – ever.”

First, we must distinguish between commercially- and home-made tarts (nothing will ever be quite like a home-made tart coming out of the oven). By George recognizes best butter tarts in each of these categories.

To find “the best” commercially-made butter tarts, one needs to travel the back way into Cambridge, on regional road 97, to make a stop at Dee’s General Store.  This landmark bakery opened in 1996 in Dee’s General Store, which opened its doors a decade earlier. Dee’s famous Butter Tarts (to Die For) are award winners! When The Kitchener-Waterloo Record held a “best bought butter tart contest”,  Dee’s tarts came out on top, winning over tried and true tart makers.

Aside from the General Store, Dee today has a bakery in Cambridge (downtown Galt) and her famous butter tarts can be ordered and shipped to your door. More about Dee’s butter tarts on the General Store website.

Dee’s motto: “Never Underestimate the Joy of a Homemade Butter Tart.”

And then there’s Dot’s Gooey Butter Tarts.

By George recognizes a lady in the northeastern Ontario town of Englehart as having made the “best butter tarts – ever.” Dot’s Gooey Butter Tarts are truly second to none. Though Dot may have taken the precise secrets of her perfect fillings to her grave, she did leave this recipe as a guide.

Ingredients

Pastry  

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup cold butter
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • ice water

Filling  

  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp softened butter
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup raisins (or currants)

Instructions 

  • Pastry: Combine flour and salt, cut in butter and shortening. In cup, whisk egg yolk with vinegar and add water. Sprinkle liquid into flour stirring briskly. Gather dough and press together into disc. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for one hour.
  • Filling: Whisk brown sugar, corn syrup, egg, butter, vanilla, vinegar and salt. Set aside.  (You can adjust the filling ingredients depending on your preference of runny vs sticky tarts. For runnier tarts put more corn syrup in; for stickier tarts put more brown sugar.)
  • On lightly floured surface, roll out pastry to 1/8 inch thickness. Use 100 cm round cookie cutter and fit into 2 3/4 x 1 1/4 inch muffin tray.
  • Divide raisins into tart shells. Spoon in filling (do not over-fill).
  • Bake at 450 F on bottom rack for 12 minutes – or until filling is bubbling and golden. Let stand for 1 minute and remove tarts to cooling racks.

Thank you Dot! 

By George has declared July as “Butter Tart Month.” Here is a menu of our delectable articles on Canada’s iconic dessert.

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer or experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

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