Butter Tarts

I have never known anyone who hates raisins as much as my niece, Justine. When she was a little girl someone made her a carrot cake for her birthday and lo and behold: raisins. Too sweet to draw attention to the offending fruits, she ate around them, eating all the cake and cream cheese frosting. It wasn’t until the table was cleared that the small pile of discarded raisins was found under her napkin on the edge of her plate. Well, 20 years later, nothing has changed. In fact she hates raisins so much that when I make Butter Tarts for the holidays, I have to make half a batch without raisins and half with. The traditionalist in me wants the plump, chewy raisins but the more adventurous baker in me likes to add pecans instead, or dried cherries, or coconut and chocolate chips. It doesn’t matter what you add or don’t they are delicious, apparently quintessentially Canadian (?) and unbelievably easy to make. If you’re really committed, or particularly talented with lots of time to spare, feel free to make your own crusts. Most of the time, the short cut of buying pre-fab crusts is worth it – no need to feel guilty for not pulling out the rolling pin. Plus, you can fill them from frozen and pop them in the oven without a second thought.

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