I admit it. I never had a butter tart until AFTER I was diagnosed with Celiacs. My Mom made these during the holiday season nearly every year. I’m not sure what I thought was in them, but when I was younger, I refused to eat them, and it just stayed that way. After seeing my Mom make them, and my husband drool over them, I decided to give them a try. Now…I try to play the “hey, that’s gluten-free and only for me” card. It doesn’t work at our house, because these little tarts are so delicious, no one keeps their hands off of them.
Butter Tart Filling
- 2 tsp melted butter
- pinch of salt
- 1 egg, beaten
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 tsp vanilla
- 2/3 cup re-hydrated raisins (see below)
- 1/2 cup corn syrup
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Note: To rehydrate the raisins, I put them in a microwave save bowl, cover with water, and microwave for 1 1/2 minutes. I then let them sit for 5 minutes, and drain before using. This way, they won’t be dried out and “stealing” liquid from your recipe.
- Combine all ingredients and beat until well blended. Spoon into tart shells, filling 2/3 full.
- Bake in preheated 350 degree F oven until the filling is set.
The dough I used to make the tart shells, is from a recipe that my friend Tamara contributed to the Holiday Baking E-Book that I compiled in November, 2010. This was my first time trying this dough, and I loved it! It worked fantastically, and held up really well. Not to mention, tasted GREAT! Since I was making tiny bite-sized tarts, I cut small circles, and pressed them into my mini muffin tins using my Mini Tart Shaper from Pampered Chef. It worked really well, a little time consuming, but worth it, I think.
Pie Crust for Anything (9 or 10-inch two-layer crust)
- 2 1/2 cups gluten-free flour mix (see NOTE)
- 1 cup shortening
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1 large egg (yes, it HAS to be large)
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup cold water
- Use stand mixer and non-whisk for best results. Mix flour, shortening, salt and xanthan gum on low speed until mixture is pebbly.
- Add egg, vinegar and 1/3 cup water, mix on low speed until well mixed and dough becomes ball-like. If dough is not soft and pliable, add a few drops of water at a time until it is. This dough feels exactly like the dough you would make with wheat flour, so don’t feel like you have to scrimp on the water. If it takes more than 1/2 cup, oh, well, the weather might be dry. If it’s less, it just might be raining!
- Bake at whatever temperature you need for your filling, from 300 degrees F to 450 degrees F, or on 350 degrees F for 20-22 minutes for pre-baked crust. Although this recipe doesn’t rise, it can bow in the middle, so baking stones are recommended if you are pre-baking the crust. Fruit fillings are best if baked for 1 hour at 350 degrees F.
Tip for Pie Crust: Lay plastic wrap out on your counter then put your pie dough on the wrap to roll it out. Do not use flour to keep it from sticking to the plastic wrap: You WANT it to stick! If you use a top sheet of plastic wrap, you do not have to use flour mix on top, it’s an easy clean-up, and you can pick up the crust and lay it into your pie pan without breaking it.
Second tip: Don’t be afraid to pass this recipe to your friends who use wheat flour! Just omit the xanthan gum and use regular wheat flour and a little less water, about 1/4 to 1/3 cup, and it will turn out perfectly every time!
NOTE: Flour Mix (makes 9 cups total):
3 cups brown rice flour (finely ground)
3 cups white rice flour (finely ground)
2 cups potato starch (NOT potato flour!)
1 cup tapioca starch
As long as you make the 3:3:2:1 ratio, you can cut/multiply this down/up to any size. The ratio for 3 cups flour mix is 1:1:2/3:1/3.