Yield 18 tarts
Don't let the name fool you- these are deliciously sweet mini-tarts with hints of caramel and maple in their smooth filling, reminding you of a pecan pie without the pecans. A staple found in most bakeries in the Great White North, Butter Tarts are sadly underutilized in the US and around the world.
1. Place pie crust on the counter to come to room temp. Cut into 4 inch rounds using a 4" cookie cutter (or small bowl or large lid). Gently press pastry rounds into the cups of a greased or sprayed mini-muffin tin. Knead remaining dough and roll and cut again until you fill all twelve cups. Place in the refrigerator and continue with the filling.
2. Set an oven rack to middle position and set oven to heat to 375 degrees. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip butter at medium speed until light for about a minute. Scrape down the bowl if needed. With the whisk on medium, add in the brown sugar and mix until fully incorporated. Scrape down bowl if needed.
3. Next add each egg one at a time, then vanilla and maple syrup, then the half and half. Run the mixer on high for about 30 seconds. Scrape down bowl (especially the very bottom) and mix on high again for another 30 seconds.
4. Transfer filling to a two cup measuring cup (or something easy to pour filling from). If raisins or chopped nuts are desired, sprinkle a few in the bottom of each pastry cup. Fill each pastry cup 2/3 full with filling. Try to fill each cup as evenly as possible.
5. Place in the oven and bake for 17-20 minutes. The filling will puff way up and should be slightly browned at the edges, along with the pastry dough. Remove the butter tarts and cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Gently remove them by running a knife around the edges. Push the knife underneath and lift them out. Place on a wire rack to cool for 15 additional minutes. Repeat recipe with the remaining dough and filling. Serve warm or room temperature.
Recipe by The Goldilocks Kitchen at https://goldilockskitchen.com/2013/12/canadian-butter-tarts.html