FOR THE PASTRY
- 2 ¼ cups flour, pastry flour is best to use but all-purpose will do
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 1/2 cup shortening, Very cold and cut in cubes
- 1/2 cup butter, Very cold and cut in cubes
- 6 tbsp ice water, approximately, enough to bring the dough together
FOR THE FILLING
- 1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup corn syrup
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
- ½ cup raisins, substituting, pecans, walnuts or chocolate chips also make good variations
TO PREPARE THE PASTRY
- Pulse the cold butter and shortening into the flour sugar and salt using a food processor until the shortening or butter is reduced to pea sized pieces.
- Sprinkle the water over the surface and toss with a fork until the water is just incorporated into the dough. Do not over work the dough; handle it only enough so that the dough stays together.
- Form the dough into two rounds about an inch thick.
- Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest in the fridge for about a half hour.
- Roll out on lightly floured surface. Cut into rounds with 4 inch cutter. Fit into muffin cups. Chill in the fridge or freezer while you prepare the filling. Cold pastry heading into a hot oven will always be flakier.
TO MAKE THE FILLING
- Combine all filling ingredients except raisins.
- Mix well.
- Sprinkle raisins in a single layer in the bottom of the pastry lined muffin cups.
- Fill 2/3 full with syrup mixture.
- Bake on bottom shelf of oven at 425 degrees F for 12 to 15 minutes.
- Cool completely on a wire rack and remove tarts from from pans.
There is considerable debate about whether the filling in a butter tart should be runny or firm. Preferences vary, especially geographically but if you want a firmer, less runny filling simply add an additional egg, increase the brown sugar to 3/4 cup and decrease the corn syrup to 1/4 cup.