It is raining this Labour Day, so what better to do than bake up a batch of what I consider to be the best butter tarts? Apparently there is some debate as to whether butter tart fillings are better with nuts rather than raisins, syrupy rather than firm. I prefer them with raisins and a firm filling, and the following recipe is the one I return to every time. It is from my mother’s old Purity Flour cookbook from the 1940’s.
2 cups brown sugar
2 tablespoons vinegar (I use cider vinegar)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 cups raisins (I use Thompson raisins)
Pastry (I use Glutino pastry mix)
Beat eggs only until whites and yolks are well blended. Beat in sugar and add vinegar and vanilla. Stir in the melted butter and raisins.
Line tart tins with pastry and fill 1/2 to 2/3 full with butter mixture. Bake in hot (425 degree F) oven for the first 5 minutes, then reduce temperature to a moderate (350 degree F) and bake for 20 -25 minutes, or until filling is firm. Place tins on cooling rack.This recipe makes 24 small tarts or 12 2″-sized tarts.
Every time I bake a batch of these I remember back to the first summer of my marriage. I had baked 4 dozen tarts in preparation for a family reunion the following day. After they were cooled and removed from the tins, I put them away and left home to go to my job. After my shift, I returned home to find DH and his friend sitting at the kitchen table happily munching their way through all four dozen tarts! Well, if that isn’t testimony to how good these are, I don’t know what is.
What ever you are doing this Labour Day, I hope it is something you love to do. Enjoy.