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Gooey Maple Butter Tarts
What to Serve
Gooey Maple Butter Tarts
Autumn 2012
By: Nicole Young

Maple syrup, currants and pecans are combined in these decadent tarts to produce an updated version of the Canadian classic. A rich flaky pecan pastry provides the perfect balance to the slightly gooey filling, but store-bought tart shells could be substituted in a pinch.

1 cup (250 mL) all-purpose flour
¼ cup (60 mL) ground toasted pecans
¼ tsp (1 mL) salt
¼ cup (60 mL) cold butter, cubed
¼ cup (60 mL) cold lard, cubed
2 tbsp (30 mL) ice water (approx.)
4 tsp (20 mL) sour cream

½ cup (125 mL) packed brown sugar
¼ cup (60 mL) pure maple syrup
¼ cup (60 mL) corn syrup
¼ cup (60 mL) butter, melted
1 egg
1 tsp (5 mL) vinegar
½ tsp (2 mL) salt
½ tsp (2 mL) finely grated orange zest
½ cup (125 mL) roughly chopped toasted pecans
½ cup (125 mL) currants

1 In a large bowl, whisk together flour, pecans and salt until combined. Using pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in butter and lard until the mixture resembles fine crumbs with a few pea-sized pieces.

2 In a liquid measure, whisk together the ice water with sour cream. Drizzle over flour mixture while stirring with a fork to form a ragged dough (add up to 1 tbsp/15 mL extra water if necessary). Press into a disc and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 30 minutes and up to 3 days.

3 On a clean, floured surface, roll out dough to about a 1/8-inch (3-mm) thickness. Cut out twelve 4-inch (10-cm) circles, rerolling scraps. Fit into muffin or tart pans. Refrigerate for 30 minutes while making filling.

4 Heat oven to 450°F (230°C).

5 In a bowl, whisk together brown sugar, maple syrup, corn syrup, butter, egg, vinegar, salt and orange zest. Divide pecans and currants evenly over chilled pastry shells. Pour or spoon a scant ¼ cup (60 mL) of filling into each shell.

6 Bake tarts in the bottom third of oven until filling is set and pastry is golden, about 12 to 15 minutes. Immediately run the edge of a sharp, thin knife around edges of each shell to release tarts. Let cool in pan on rack for 5 minutes before transferring to rack to cool completely.

Makes 12 tarts

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