A butter tart is a type of small pastry tart highly regarded in Canadian cuisine and considered one of Canada’s quintessential desserts. – Wikipedia
I was in my twenties before I realized that Americans knew nothing of the butter tart. It was quite a moment. I was accustomed to everything being bigger (if not necessarily better) south of our border, and to think that we had a fabulous dessert that they lacked was a confidence builder.
The tart consists of butter, sugar, syrup, and egg filled into a flaky pastry and baked until the filling is semi-solid with a crunchy top. The butter tart should not be confused with butter pie (a savoury pie from the Preston area of Lancashire, England) or with bread and butter pudding. – Wikipedia
How anyone could confuse the butter tart with anything remotely savoury or bread-y is beyond me.
The origins of the butter tart are obscure, but Wiki notes some commonality with the French tarte à la frangipane, and the Scottish Ecclefechan butter tarts. Yet they seem to be distinctively Canadian.
Butter tarts were common in pioneer Canadian cooking, and they remain a characteristic pastry of Canada, considered one of only a few recipes of genuinely Canadian origin. – Wikipedia
Wiki also reports that exotic flavours have been developed for competitions: maple bacon, pumpkin, chili and salted caramel cardamom. Out at Pakenham ON, just an hour or so outside Ottawa, a wonderful bakery sells maple and rhubarb butter tarts (in season), as well as more standard flavours.
Is there a site devoted to butter tarts? Not that I saw, but there are festivals, trails, and tours:
- Butter tart festival in Midland ON
- Butter tart trail in Wellington ON
- Butter tart tour in Kawarthas Northumberland (50+ bakeries participate)
And of course, there are all sorts of recipes to try: