Canadian Butter Tart Recipe

Relationship: Im/migrant

I immigrated to the United States from Canada at the age of fourteen. Some people may not consider Canada and the US to be very culturally distinct on the surface, but there are actually many differences! I often find myself feeling nostalgic, and food can be a great way to feel at home. Poutine is a fairly well known example of Canadian cuisine, but there are many foods, desserts especially, which are quintessentially Canadian. This recipe card was written by my grandmother, who was famous in our family for making delicious butter tarts, a traditional dessert that comes from English Canadian pioneer cooking, and is similar to the Québecois tarte au sucre (sugar pie). Butter tarts are small handheld tarts, with flaky crust and a sweet sugary filling with raisins inside. The filling tastes a bit like pecan pie filling without the pecans. My grandmother was the daughter of Welsh immigrants who settled in the Canadian Prairies before moving west to British Columbia, where she raised her family. Her family would gather on Vancouver Island for a big family reunion every year, and her butter tarts were always a big hit. She finally wrote the recipe down for one of my aunts as a Christmas present, which explains the drawing of holly in the corner. On Canada Day, or at family gatherings, especially, this dish is a great taste of home. Now that I live in the United States, I will continue passing this recipe and tradition down in my family to maintain that connection to my Canadian upbringing.

Place(s): Canada, Vancouver Island
Year: 2008

– Aurora Clare

Relationship:  Im/migrant Im/migrant