A butter tart is a type of small pastry tart highly regarded in Canadian cuisine and considered one of Canada's quintessential desserts. 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.
Recipes for the butter tart vary according to the families baking them. Because of this, the appearance and physical characteristics of the butter tart – the firmness of its pastry, or the consistency of its filling – also varies.
In general, the English Canadian tart consists of butter, sugar, and eggs in a pastry shell, similar to the French-Canadian sugar pie, or the base of the U. S. pecan pie without the nut topping. The butter tart is different from pecan pie in that it has a "runnier" filling due to the omission of corn starch. Raisins are in the traditional butter tart, but walnuts, or pecans are commonly added. However purists contend that such additions should not be allowed.
Other additional ingredients may include currants, coconut, dates, butterscotch, chocolate chips, peanut butter, maple syrup or chai.
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