maple and whisky butter tarts (WITHOUT corn syrup!)

Dessert is my favorite meal.  I’m a sucker for sweet things whether it’s cake, cookies or fruit.  I try to have enough desserts made so we can have something every night after dinner, but sometimes I fall short.  When I’m trying to decide what to bake I usually take stock of what I have (chocolate, fruit, butter, peanut butter, etc) and then try to find a recipe in my books or online based on those ingredients.  A few weeks ago I spotted a bottle of whisky on the counter and decided to check out the company’s website to see if they had any recipes.  And they sure did!  Their recipe for whisky butter tarts looked really good so I gave that a go.

Ingredients:
for the shells

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 5-20 tablespoons ice cold water
for the filling
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup PURE maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 50 ML Forty Creek Whisky
  • 1 egg

Directions:
  1. Place flour for shells in a bowl and cut in the shortening (using a pastry blender) until crumbly
  2. Add the water a little at a time until the dough is moist enough to form a ball
  3. Divide dough into 2 balls and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about 2 hours or overnight
  4. Roll out dough onto a floured surface and cut 12 tart shells using a large mug (or round cookie cutter if you have one)
  5. Place shells into a muffin tin
  6. In a small bowl whisk all the filling ingredients until combined
  7. Spoon filling into shells until about 3/4 full
  8. Bake at 350F for about 20 minutes or until filling is almost set
Notes:   
  • I could only use half the filling with this dough recipe, so I just refrigerated the remaining in a sealed container and made more shells in a week.  You could double the shell recipe or use premade.
  • There was some leaking of filling into the muffin pan, which burned and was hard to clean off.  I suggest using muffin liners, parchment paper ones if you can find them.  
  • I used Forty Creek brand whisky because that’s what my husband drinks, but you could easily use another brand.    
  • Be sure to use REAL, PURE maple syrup.  The kind that comes from a farm, not in a plastic bottle at the grocery store.  Real maple syrup can be found at health food stores and farmers markets.  I haven’t tested this recipe with the fake stuff, so I don’t know how it will turn out.
  • Raisins or nuts can be added to the filling, but sadly I didn’t have any raisins :(

I’ve made butter tarts in the past with no luck, so I was glad when this one actually produced good results.  The maple syrup gives it a really nice flavour and has the same consistency as corn syrup, which is usually used in butter tarts.  I’ve heard that corn syrup is bad for us, so why not try using some good and natural maple syrup instead?  
Butter tarts are so very Canadian, so I’m wondering if my American readers are familiar with this yummy treat? 
Original recipe here.

About Christina

20-something; rural dwelling; wife to David; homeowner; pretty good cook; wearer of skirts; friend to all cats.

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