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A close-up of a Canadian butter tart with pecans.

Canadian Butter Tarts

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5 from 3 reviews

  • Author: Chef Shai Mandel
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 12 Tarts 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian


A recipe for the perfect Canadian butter tart recipe with a crisp-but-flaky pastry shell, a slightly runny filling, with a rich caramel flavour.


Units Scale


  • 375g all-purpose flour
  • 160g cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2” pieces
  • 125g vegetable shortening or pure lard
  • 100g COLD water
  • 7.5g salt
  • 15g brown sugar


  • 1/3 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup pecans (optional)


To Make the Pastry:

  1. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the salt, sugar, flour, and shortening. Mix together.
  2. Rub shortening into flour until reduced to pea sized crumbs. Once pea-sized crumbs, grate cold butter into flour. Toss butter lightly using the salad tossing method.
  3. Add cold water little bits at a time, mixing in between additions. Mix just enough to incorporate, do not over mix!
  4. Transfer dough to floured table. Shape into a thick disc. Tightly cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before rolling.
  5. On a lightly-floured surface, roll out dough and cut 12 4-inch circles. Press dough circles into muffin cups.
  6. Chill in the fridge while you prepare the filling (Cold pastry going into a hot oven will be flakier).

To Make the Filling:

  1. Combine all filling ingredients (except pecans, if you chose to add).
  2. Mix well.
  3. Sprinkle pecans on bottom of pastry if included. (Optional)
  4. Fill tart shells 2/3s full with syrup mixture.
  5. Bake on bottom shelf of oven at 425 degrees F for 12 – 15 minutes.
  6. Remove tarts from pans, and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.


If you want a firmer, less runny filling simply add an additional egg, increase the brown sugar to ¾ cup and decrease the corn syrup to ¼ cup.

  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Desserts
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Canadian
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