Mrs. Friesen's Butter Tarts

We're all eating our feelings these pandemic days. Mrs. Friesen, bake sale maven and intrepid—though sometimes subversive—behind-the-scenes player extraordinaire from Andrew Unger's hit Once Removed has the market cornered on treats and comforts. If anyone could take a run at pandemic baking trends, it would totally be her. So throwing our hat into the holiday baking ring, we're pleased to share a family recipe directly from Mrs. Friesen—er, Andrew Unger, that is...

Mrs. Friesen's Butter Tarts:

(To be used with your favourite pastry recipe or purchased pre-made tart shells. Mrs. Friesen would make the shells from scratch, but if you don't have a go-to pastry recipe, may we recommend this recipe for "perfect pastry" from Canadian Living . Butter Tarts, after all, are a uniquely Canadian thing.)

Filling Ingredients:

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup golden syrup
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • raisins (optional)


Pre-heat oven to 350F. In a medium-sized bowl, beat eggs and sugar together. Add remaining ingredients except raisins (golden syrup, butter, vanilla, vinegar, and salt), again combing well. If using raisins, add desired amount to the bottom of each tart shell. Spoon filling into the shells, about three-quarters of the way full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until filling is set. Makes 12 to 18 muffin-tin-sized tarts, depending on the quantity of raisins used.

* The photo accompanying this article is © William Berry from (ID 5772330) & while we did do a test run of these delicious beauties prior to posting, let's just say our photographic skills hardly compare to what the fictional Mrs. Friesen would snap. The butter tarts sure were tasty though...


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