Celebrating Canada with An Updated Canadian Classic Buttertart
If you had to answer one truly Canadian dish, what might yours be? For us buttertarts come to mind. They are uniquely Canadian, probably adapted from old-fashioned sugar or maple syrup pies. They fly in the face of all political correctness – they are high in calories, high in sugar, completely decadent but we are yet to meet someone who doesn’t love a buttertart. But if there is one issue that can get Canadians up in arms, its about what makes the perfect buttertart. So let’s break it down right here and now.
The Crust: While there may be lots of opinions as to whether the pastry should be a made from lard, butter or combination of the two, most would agree that “flaky” is the key. One unique way to achieve this is to use store bought phyllo pastry. For some it may be a little finicky, but stacking 5 sheets one on top of the other and brushing with butter in between will certainly guarantee a “flaky” tart.
The Filling: The most crucial part of the buttertart is the filling – it has to tread that line between not being overly runny and not too set. Getting into the perfect “goo-zone” is optimal. In other words, it should be soft and gooey but not too liquidy.
Fruit and Nuts? – Taking a poll in our studio, its 2 for and 3 against. So really, its a personal choice. Traditionalists would say au naturel, but really, do what you love – afterall we are Canadian and ever so polite about it.
Craving buttertarts? Canadian cookbook author Rose Murray developed a recipe in her “Taste Of Canada – A Culinary Journey” cookbook that is the perfect combination of runny, flaky and completely decadent. The flaky comes from using phyllo pastry instead of traditional pie pastry. We make them in mini muffin pans for a “popper” version, but if you love a bigger version, they also make a standard 12-cup muffin size.
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