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Butter Tarts - Shells

(recipe, Anna Conley)


We have had such a craving for these things! I think I finally cured it. Which is good because I am all out of ingredients to make any more. lol These are such a delicious treat! They are a tradition in Canada. For my American friends, a butter tart is like a miniature pecan pie. I grew up on them with raisins, which I like to think is the traditional kind of butter tart. Only later in life did I discover that you can buy these with pecans, walnuts, or even plain. My husband's preferred type is plain. I like 'em plain or with pecans. I don't mind the raisins, but I'd rather skip 'em if given the choice. I use just the good old CRISCO recipe for a double crust pie. I had enough for a dozen with scraps leftover. I tossed the scraps because you can only roll your dough so many times before it gets too dry and tough.


  1. 2 cups all purpose flour
  2. 1 tsp. salt
  3. ¾ cup CRISCO All-Vegetable Shortening, well chilled (you can definitely sub. unsalted butter for the shortening)
  4. 4 to 8 Tbsp. ice cold water


  1. Blend the flour and salt in medium bowl. Cut ½ inch (1.5cm) cubes of chilled shortening into flour mixture using a pastry blender or two knives, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with pea-sized pieces remaining.
  2. Sprinkle 4 tablespoons of the ice cold water over the flour mixture. Using a fork, stir and draw flour from bottom of bowl to the top; press chunks down to bottom of bowl with fork. Add more water by the tablespoon, mixing until dough holds together.
  3. Divide dough in two. Flatten balls into ½ inch (1.5cm) thick disks, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for 30 minutes or up to 2 days.
  4. Roll out dough and cut out circles to fit into regular muffin pans. Mine needed 4.5 inch (11.5cm) circles. I didn't have a biscuit cutter big enough, so I used to the lid of the biscuit cutter container. Use whatever you have! A large drinking cup? Perfect! For deep-dish you want the circles big enough so that the sides go all the way up to the top of the muffin cup. If you make yours a little smaller, that's fine too. You will just end up with more butter tarts.
  5. So, finish filling the 12 muffin cups in your pan. When that's done, put it in the fridge to rest while you make the filling.