At right: Aussie hands can’t keep off Canadian tarts.
We’re lucky enough to be on hiatus in Australia this month, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t working as hard as ever to better our country’s image around the globe. Our most successful attempt to do so undoubtedly occurred this weekend, when we baked a batch of our favourite Canadian treat for our lovely Australian hosts. They were even more appreciated than the gold medal garnered for them by that obnoxious Vancouver-born mogul skier last week.
This recipe was adapted from The Complete Canadian Living Cookbook by our favourite amateur chef, Ann.
-1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
-little pinch of salt
-1/2 cup cold butter, cubed.
-1 egg yolk
-1 squeeze of lemon juice (about 1 tsp. Don’t leave this out, it makes the pastry fluffy)
To make the pastry, rub the butter into the flour with your hands, then pop the bowl into the freezer for awhile to get cold again. Then mix the egg yolk and lemon juice with enough ice water to make about 1/3 of a cup. Whisk the water and egg into the flour butter mixture with a fork until it all just starts to stick together. Pat it into a mass with your hands, wrap it in plastic wrap or foil and put it in the fridge for at least an hour.
-2 tbsp butter, softened
-1/2 cup packed brown sugar
-1/2 cup corn syrup (you can play with the ratio of syrup to sugar a bit – more syrup makes them runnier, more sugar makes them more gelatinous – which is how TOist prefers them. Just make sure you have a cup of sweet. Oh, and a little maple syrup in with the corn syrup won’t hurt a thing, not to mention make them extra Canadian)
-1 tsp vanilla
Optional: 1/2 cup of raisins, currants, chopped pecans or any combination thereof. You can add chunks of chocolate to this mix, but if you do you are a complete pervert with anti-Canadian attitudes. [ed. note: we prefer our butter tarts pure and untouched by any of this flotsam, but we appreciate the freedom of baked goods that we enjoy in this country, so you just do what you’ve got to do]
For the filling, mix everything together in a bowl. That’s it.
Once the pastry is suitably chilled (at least an hour, remember), take it out of the fridge, unwrap it, and roll it out to the thickness of an earlobe. Cut out circles with a 10cm cookie cutter or an empty can, re-rolling the scraps if necessary. Pat circles into a muffin tin. Fill tarts 2/3rds full. Bake at 450%F for 12 minutes or until filling is bubbly and pastry is browning a bit.
Take them out and let them stand for a minute, then run a spatula around each tart, pop them out (if you wait too long, this becomes more difficult), and let them cool.
If there are no Australians around to share them with, eat them yourself while praying for Team Canada to turn it around in the men’s hockey quarterfinals.