One might be tempted to argue that these are not English . . . but they do very closely resemble little Scottish fruit tarts, which are almost exactly the same . . . except that the Scottish version contains some whiskey and lemon, instead of vanilla.
Although they are claimed to be a Canadian Treat . . . having looked at the Scottish recipe for a similar tart . . . one can clearly see that these delicious butter tarts have their roots firmly planted in Scottish soil . . .
Imagine a rich and flaky pastry . . . with a buttery filling, all gooey and rich and stogged full of lovely dried currants . . .
You could use sultanas or course, and or nuts . . . or even all three. You could even add chocolate chips . . .
We like them just plain . . . with currants.
They never last long in this house. It's impossible to eat just one.
*Gooey Butter Tarts*
Flaky pastry filled with a gooey sweet filling, all buttery and filled with currants. These are the best!
For the Pastry:
6.5 ounces of plain flour (1 1/2 cups)
1/4 tsp salt
2 ounces cold butter, cubed
2 ounces cold shortening, cubed
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vinegar
For the Filling:
3.75 ounces of Soft light brown sugar (1/2 cup packed)
4 fluid ounces golden syrup (1/2 cup)
1 large free range egg
2 TBS butter, softened
1 tsp each vanilla and white vinegar
3 ounces dried currants (1/2 cup packed)
Whisk the flour and salt for the pastry together in a bowl. Drop in the butter and shortening and cut it in with two round bladed knives until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Whisk the egg yolk together with the vinegar and add enough ice water to equal 75 ml. (1/3 cup) Gradually sprinkle this over the flour mixture, stirring it in with a fork until the pastry holds together. Shape into a disc, wrap in cling film and chill in the refrigerator for about an hour.
For the filling, whisk the sugar, golden syrup, egg., butter, vanilla, salt and vinegar together vigorously. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 230*c/450*F/ gas mark 7.
Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to 1/8 inch thickness. Stamp out rounds with a 4 inch round pastry cutter. Fit into shallow bun tins. Drop a few currants into the bottom of each. Top off with some of the egg mixture, filling 3/4 full.
Bake in the bottom third of the heated oven for 12 minutes, or until filling is puffed and bubbly and the pastry is golden brown. Remove from the oven. Let stand one minute, and then immediately loosen and remove to a wire rack to cool completely before eating.