Traditional Butter Tarts

This recipe for old-fashioned Canadian butter tarts came to me through my mother, who got it from my childhood best friend’s mom – I have it on good authority that Newfoundlanders make the best butter tarts, and she was a Newfie. These are the quintessential treat in Canada for a cold winter’s day. Enjoy!

Butter Tarts

Ingredients:

  1. 1 cup (250ml) brown sugar, packed
  2. 1/2 cup (125ml) dark corn syrup
  3. 90ml butter, softened
  4. 2 large eggs
  5. 160ml golden Sultana raisins
  6. 1/2 cup (125ml) currants
  7. 1 tblsp (15ml) white vinegar
  8. 1 tsp (5ml) good quality real vanilla extract
  9. 2ml (a pinch) salt
  10. 24 small unsweetened tart shells (approximately 3″ diameter)

Yes, the tart shells used in this recipe are the frozen ones you buy at your grocery store. Sin! Mom says: what would Martha say?!

Combine sugar, corn syrup and butter.

Beat eggs until foamy and add to the mixture, blending well. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees (or you can do this before you start, I just hate the idea of leaving my oven running while I prepare my tarts).

Fill the unbaked tart shells about two thirds full (approximately 25ml of mixture in each 3″ shell). Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden and bubbly.

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Autumn Steak Pie

On a cold night, there is nothing like a homemade pot pie with crisp pastry to warm you right up. Rather than go for the standby chicken pie, I decided to mix it up and make a yummy beef pot pie instead. It turned out delicious, rich, and tender. Give it a try tonight!

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Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes

These impressive individual cakes have a molten centre so when you cut into it, your plate is taken over by delicious, decadent chocolate. I serve mine simply with fresh raspberries on the side. My Mom prefers to garnish them with some fresh raspberry coulis and a light dusting of powdered sugar.

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Traditional South African Rusks

Rusks are a traditional type of biscuit served with tea in South Africa. You could compare them to a dry granola bar, crumbly cookie, or maybe biscotti, but really, they are their own unique thing. This recipe is the perfect jumping off point from which you can add all sorts of your own yummy and/or healthy ingredients. The recipe lends itself well to being halved.

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Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary…

How does your garden grow? With beautiful dahlias, delicate spider webs and raccoon footprints all in a row.

Garden 2012

Photos from my garden in 2012

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Hazelnut Mocha Cake

When I asked my husband what kind of cake he wanted for his birthday this year, he replied with a short answer. Coffee cake. With some coaxing, I determined that he wanted a cake with a coffee flavour as opposed to a “coffee cake” as in that usually dry loaf you have WITH coffee.

Beginning with this recipe from Nigella, I created a delicious, moist coffee flavoured cake with a layer of chocolate hazelnut ganache and a delicious coffee vanilla bean buttercream. This cake was very easy to make and turned out great. I will definitely be making it again — perhaps for my own birthday!

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Plum & Blackberry Crumble

I had the pleasure of trying this Plum Crumble at the home of one of my wonderful neighbours. She explained that it was extremely easy to make and jotted down the recipe for me right then and there. I could see from the recipe that it would be a simple one and I’m always on the lookout for easy, quick-to-make desserts.

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Spencer’s Quilt

This was my third quilt I’ve ever made. I picked up these fun, coordinated fabrics at Bolt in Portland back in May.

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Lemon Meringue Heaven

In honour of National Lemon Meringue Pie Day, I’m reposting my recipe for you to try this weekend. Enjoy!

Both my husband and I love lemon meringue pie – so much so that we actually had it as a dessert choice at our wedding in 2010. My homemade lemon meringue pie is easy to make, tastes even better the next day (so it’s great for potlucks) and is so much better than store-bought, I can’t even explain. It’s always a crowd-pleaser and I often get asked for the recipe.

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Summery Lemon Cheesecake

Finding myself bored while grocery shopping, I stopped at the magazine section to flip through America’s Test Kitchen’s latest Summer Desserts edition. I balked when I saw the cover price at $12.95! First, I surreptitiously snapped photos of the ingredients and instructions of the one recipe I wanted to try with my iPhone. But fortunately, when I got home, I was able to find it online over at Lick The Bowl Good (bad form, probably, but I could buy enough ingredients for two cheesecakes with what they wanted for their magazine!)

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