Butter tarts are a traditional Canadian recipe often served at Christmas time. To make preparation easier, buy premade pastry shells or refrigerated pie dough in place of homemade.
Butter tarts start with a butter pastry. To make the pastry, mix 1 1/2 cups flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt together. Use a pastry blender to cut 1/4 cup cold better and 1/4 cup lard into the four. Separately, whisk together 1 egg yolk and 1 teaspoon vinegar. Add ice water to make 1/3 cup liquid. Sprinkle the liquid over the flour, mixing until the pastry holds together. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
Traditional filling for butter tarts is for covering raisins. For the filling, mix 1/2 cup packed brown sugar with 1/2 cup corn syrup, 1 egg, 2 tablespoons softened butter and 1 teaspoon vinegar. Add 1 pinch of salt.
Roll out the pastry dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/8-inch thickness. Use a 4-inch round cookie cutter to cut out 12 circles. Fit each circle into a muffin cup. Divide 1/4 cup of raisins evenly among the shells, and spoon the filling over the top. Bake at 450 F for 12 minutes, and let it stand for 1 minute.
Chopped pecans, currants or shredded coconut can be substituted for the raisins. Another option is to drizzle chocolate over baked butter tarts.