These butter tart squares are one of my favorite dessert recipes.
Butter tarts are just about my favorite dessert, but they can be a bit fussy to make. This easy recipe takes the deliciousness of butter tarts and makes them into easy squares.
They are a welcome dessert for any get together, but I love them especially during the holidays. Butter tart squares are a perfect addition to a mixed dessert tray or dessert buffet.
What are Butter Tarts?
If you are not from Canada, you may not be familiar with butter tarts and asking this very question. What are they anyway?
Many of you around the world are probably looking at this recipe and thinking “butter” tarts? Really? Why would you make a tart of butter? Well they are not just butter, so I don’t know why they got that name but they are known and loved by it for decades.
Butter tarts are a distinctly Canadian dessert and well loved throughout the country. It’s one of my absolute favorite Canadian recipes.
Flaky pastry tart shells are filled with an ooey gooey sweet runny filling.
The ingredients are simple: a brown sugar, butter and egg mixture is poured over a semi-baked crust. The ingredients may be simple (and more than likely already in your cupboard), but the results are spectacular.
Butter tarts can be made plain but often include the addition of raisins, walnuts or pecans. A favorite restaurant of mine also offers butter tarts with rhubarb pieces or coconut.
The pecan butter tarts are pretty much the same as American pecan tarts.
Whether you make them plain or add in nuts, raisins or something a bit different these sweet tarts are absolutely fabulous!
Butter tarts are so popular, we even have butter tart festivals in my area of the country, where hundreds of bakers from all over sell their take on these treasured tarts.
When I was young and just learning to make pastry, my aunt always told me to mix the dough ingredients together just until the individual bits were about the size of peas. That’s a tip I still go by today, so I don’t overmix the pastry dough.
You can see that butter tarts can be quite versatile and can be taken where your imagination wants to go, but the basic wonderful dessert starts with a great crust and a delicious sweet filling. And that’s what this recipe gives you.
This recipe makes 12 squares but you can easily multiply the recipe to make more.
I hope you enjoy one of Canada’s signature desserts, done in easy, versatile squares.
Butter Tart Squares
- 1 baking pan 9" square
For the pastry:
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 cup butter, or margarine
For the butter tart square filling:
- 2 eggs
- 1 ½ cups brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1/4 cup butter, or margarine, melted
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 1 teaspoon flour, all-purpose or cake and pastry
- 1 cup raisins, or pecan halves
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Combine the flour and sugar in a mixing bowl. Cut in the butter or margarine with a pastry blender until the mixture is crumbly.
- Press the dough into a 9-inch square cake pan. Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes. Let the crust cool for 10 minutes before adding the filling.
- To make the filling, beat the eggs and brown sugar together in a small bowl with an electric mixer until they are light and fluffy. Stir in the remaining ingredients and pour the mixture over the cooled crust.
- Bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes, or just until set and golden.
- Cool and cut into squares for serving.
- Makes about 12 butter tart squares or more if they are cut smaller.
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