It’s almost Thanksgiving and I had a flash of inspiration today regarding my favourite holiday treat. Canadian butter tarts get their amazingly moreish flavour from a combination of brown sugar, eggs and butter with accents of maple syrup and vanilla encased in pastry. This is one tradition I don’t want to miss out on due to egg and dairy allergies. Traditionally the pastry is a very tricky to master shortcrust made with ice cold water called pate brisee but I cheated today and used Jus Rol shortcrust. For the filling I swapped butter for Vitalite and for the eggy flavour I had a lightbulb moment today! I remembered that Birds Custard Powder was invented for by a man whose wife had an egg allergy. I made up 1/2 a pint of custard using Oatly Barista because it is the closest thing I’ve found to whole cows milk. I added arrowroot powder to make it extra thick and to help the filling set. It worked a treat! The only thing I would do a bit differently was fill the tarts just less than 3/4th as the filling bubbles and it sets very hard against the tin.
- 3/4 cups packed soft brown sugar
- 1/2 cup golden syrup less 3 tbs
- 1/3 cup Vitalite melted
- 1/2 pint Birds Custard made with Oatly Barista + 2 tbs of arrowroot powder ( I used more than half of what I made up but you could adjust to taste)
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 roll of shortcrust pastry
On lightly floured surface, roll out pastry to generous 1/8-inch (3 mm) thickness. Using 4-inch (10 cm) round cutter, cut out 12 circles, rerolling and cutting scraps. Fit into 12 muffin cups.
Meanwhile, whisk together brown sugar, maple syrup, Vitalite, custard, vinegar and salt. Pour filling into each shell 3/4 full.
Bake in 350F (180C) oven until filling is set and pastry is golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Run thin knife around edges to release tarts. Let cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Transfer to rack; let cool completely. (Make-ahead: Store in single layer in airtight container at room temperature for up to 24 hours or freeze for up to one month.)