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Classic Butter Tarts

Author: Susan Reid

Classic Butter Tarts Recipe

Canadians are fiercely proud of these gooey tarts, which are a national tradition. Like chess pie, the filling should be just barely set and the pastry golden. Though some add raisins to the filling, staunch devotees prefer them plain. This version, sweetened in part with maple syrup instead of the traditional brown sugar, is shared with us by Canadian chef and writer Deborah Reid.

At a glance

12 small (3") tarts
Nutrition information


Choose your measure:



  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. To make the dough: Whisk the flour and salt together in a medium bowl. Work in the butter until the mixture is crumbly.
  2. Whisk the egg, vinegar, and 2 tablespoons water together in a small bowl. Drizzle it into the flour mixture, tossing to moisten evenly.
  3. Fold the dough over on itself until it comes together, drizzling in more water as needed to moisten any dry patches.
  4. Pat the dough into a slab about 1/2" thick, wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  5. To make the filling: Use a mixer to beat the eggs, brown sugar, and salt until smooth. Add the maple syrup, vinegar, melted butter, and vanilla and beat until thoroughly combined.
  6. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Have on hand a lightly greased or non-stick 12-cup standard muffin pan.
  7. To assemble the tarts: Roll the dough 1/8" thick. Cut 4" circles and press them gently into the muffin tins. Fill each tart two-thirds full with the filling.
  8. Bake the tarts for 20 to 25 minutes, until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbly. Remove from the oven and cool completely before unmolding.
  9. Wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week; or freeze for longer storage, up to 2 months.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size 1 tart, 68g
  • Servings Per Batch 12
Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories 235
  • Calories from Fat 117
  • Total Fat 13g
  • Saturated Fat 8g
  • Trans Fat 0g
  • Cholesterol 77mg
  • Sodium 167mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 26g
  • Dietary Fiber 1g
  • Sugars 8g
  • Protein 4g

* The nutrition information provided for this recipe is determined by the ESHA Genesis R&D software program. Substituting any ingredients may change the posted nutrition information.