Canada’s favorite holiday treat. Super sweet and satisfying, filled with pecans and raisins, they’re impossible to resist.
Christmas baking season is here again. This year’s baking will be a little harder as alot of shopping is limited due to the pandemic. I’ve been making do by ordering my ingredients from bulk food stores and having them delivered. It’s safer and allows me to enjoy my favorite activity of the holidays, vegan baking.
As a Canadian I feel compelled to bake these buttery and irresistibly sweet tarts every year. They are one of Canada’s most beloved recipes and are surprisingly easy to make and veganize. I used ground flax seed as an egg replacer which worked well. Just make sure you use ground flax seed. Regular flax seeds will ruin the look of the tarts. The flax seeds make a firmer tart filling. If you prefer the gooey variety, omit the flax egg.
Making the tarts
Pastry always requires a bit of time and effort but the preparation over all is pretty easy. Its very important to be gentle with your dough. Overhandling makes it tough instead of light and flaky. It’s also a good idea to invest in various size biscuit cutters. They give you a nice clean edge and are ideal for tart making. I use 3-1/2 inch cutters for this recipe.
Making the tarts is straightforward and easy. Place pastry into each tin and press down and to the sides to shape. Fill each tart evenly with raisins and chopped pecans, then filling. The tins should be 3/4 full as the filling rises and bubble up.
After baking, let tarts cool in the muffin tin for 10 minutes to let then harden. After they are cool, transfer to a rack and let them cool completely. This will prevent soggy pastry. Once cooled, the tarts should be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator. They will last 2-3 days refrigerated. They can also be frozen but they are so good you’ll have to make a double batch to have extras to freeze!
Vegan butter tarts make the perfect treat with an afternoon tea, for dessert or for gifting or bringing to a bake sale. They are perfect for this busy time of the year and the perfect sweet break anytime. They bring home the traditions we love during this holiday season and are the perfect taste of the season. Enjoy!
Vegan Butter Tarts
- 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus more for rolling
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 cup vegan butter
- 1/2 cup ice cold water
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup pecans
- 1/4 cup soft vegan butter
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 flax egg 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed mixed with 3 tablespoon water, refrigerate until gelled, about 15 minutes
- 3 tablespoons soy milk or other unsweetened plant-based milk
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Grease well a 12 tin muffin tin and set aside.
- Place the raisins in a small bowl and cover with hot tap water. Let stand on the counter for 30 minutes.
- Combine the flour and sugar into a large bowl and whisk until mixed.
- Cut in the butter using a fork or pastry cutter until dough is crumbly.
- Add the milk and combine with a fork. Treat dough gently and just mix until a dough ball is formed. Don't over mix.
- Place dough onto a clean floured surface. Cover with a clean tea towel or parchment paper and roll out to 1/5 inch thickness.
- With a 3 1/2 inch cookie cutter or glass cut out 12 circles.
- Place a pastry shell in each tin and press it in to shape. Place tin in the refrigerator until filling is made.
- In a large bowl, mix together the soft butter, brown sugar, soy milk, vanilla and chia egg; stir well until sugar is dissolved and butter is creamed.
- Add the cornstarch and mix well.
- Drain the soaked raisins well.
- Retrieve tarts shells from the refrigerator and fill each with an equal amount of raisins and then pecans.
- Top with filling, filling tins 3/4 full.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until pastry edges are nicely browned and filling is bubbly.
- Remove from heat and let sit in muffin tin for 10 minutes.
- Remove from tin and let finish cooling on a baking rack.
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