Peanut Butter Butter Tarts
To resolve the debate once and for all, I set out to create a butter tart recipe with Cinnamon Raisin Swirl peanut butter that would make both sides happy – one that has the sweet raisiny flavor the raisin-lovers crave, and the smooth syrupy filling the purists adore. The end result may not be authentic in anyone’s book, regardless of whether they’re a With-Raisins or a No-Raisins, but one bite of that gooey sticky sweet filling is sure to win over all but the most die-hard of butter tart snobs.
Yield: 12 tarts
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
3 tablespoons Cinnamon Raisin Swirl peanut butter
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon white vinegar
3 to 4 tablespoons ice water
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup golden corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup Cinnamon Raisin Swirl peanut butter
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
Make the crust
1. In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour and salt until combined. Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut in butter until the mixture is crumbly, like coarse oatmeal. Stir in the egg yolk and vinegar.
2. In a small bowl, whisk egg yolk with vinegar and 3 tablespoons ice water. Add to the flour mixture, stirring briskly with a fork until a dough begins to come together (if the dough seems too dry, add more ice water, a tablespoon at a time, until it just barely holds together). Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, shaping the dough into a flat disc. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to two days.
Make the filling
1. In a second mixing bowl, cream together brown sugar and butter. Whisk in corn syrup, egg, vanilla, vinegar and salt until blended.
Assemble the Tarts
1. Preheat oven to 450°F
2. On lightly floured surface, roll out the chilled crust until 1/4-inch thick. Using a 4-inch round cutter, cut out 12 circles, gathering up scraps and rerolling if necessary to get a full dozen. Gently press the circles into the cups of a muffin tin.
3. Smooth a teaspoon of peanut butter into the bottom of each shell, then top with chopped peanuts, dividing evenly between the shells. Spoon filling over top, stopping when each shell is three-quarters full (do not overfill – otherwise, the filling will overflow and the tarts will be almost impossible to unmold!)
4. Bake the tarts for 10-12 minutes in preheated oven, or until the edges of the pastry are golden and filling is puffed and bubbly. Let stand on a wire rack for 1 minute, then run a knife around the edge of each tart to loosen and gently lift out of the tin. Let the unmolded tarts cool completely on a wire rack before serving.
In Canada, it’s an endless debate as to whether or not raisins belong in a butter tart. What do you think? Leave a comment and on Monday, June 4 2012 we’ll choose a random commenter to win a 16oz jar of Cinnamon Raisin Swirl, the peanut butter used in this recipe! US residents only.