The Canadian Butter Tart
Before I go further, I applaud the daring bakers for this visual treat. The January Food Challenge salutes British Columbia's Nanaimo bar, in support of the coming 2010 Olympics, in Vancouver BC.
As a tree planting cook these were a staple on the lunch table. Untold misery if you forgot to buy Birds Eye custard. We cooks soon learned to hide them the night before if we had any hope of getting them to the table the next day.
To get into the spirit of things I have made Canadian butter tarts. The first know butter tart filling, the voluptious mix of eggs, butter, sugar and currants appeared in a cookbook by the Royal Victoria Hospital's Auxiliary in Barrie Ontario in 1900, attributed to Mrs Malcolm MacCleod. It appeared again in the daily news from a Mrs BMB in 1908 and again
in 1911 in the Canadian Farm Cookbook.
The recipe used today comes from my recipe box, but I think it originally came by way of The Joy of Baking.
I have used a regular butter pastry dough instead of pate brisee. I do like to cut back on sugar where possible.
This adaptation uses currants (my favorite), instead of raisins (although today it is raisins) and extra whole walnuts.
I'm not fond of corn syrup, which is mostly used in store bought butter tarts. Brown sugar and butter are the real McCoy and give it that distinct caramel flavor they are so loved for.
go be delicious