Butter Tarts
Pastry Shell (Crust) Recipe
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ - 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons ice water plus more if needed
  • 8 tablespoons butter ice cold
  • 1 cup brown sugar light or dark
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
For Pastry Shells (Crust):
  1. In a food processor, pulse flour, salt, and sugar several times to combine. Add butter. Pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, with just a few pea-size pieces remaining.
  2. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons ice water. Pulse until dough is crumbly but holds together when squeezed with fingers (if needed, add up to 2 tablespoons more ice water, ½ tablespoon at a time). Do not over mix.
  3. Place dough onto a work surface; form dough gently ball, then with your hands press into a disk about 3/4-inch-thick. Wrap tightly in plastic, and refrigerate until firm, at least 30 minutes.
  4. Remove dough from refrigerator before rolling out crust. Allow about 10 minutes before rolling.
  5. Roll out into a lightly floured surface to between 1/8” and ¼” thickness. Cut into 24 circles about 2 ¼” diameter.
  6. Gently press each cut pastry crust into the well of a mini muffin pan. Refrigerate pan of shells while mixing filling.
For filling:
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl mix brown sugar and salt.
  3. Then beat the softened butter into the sugar by hand until smooth. Do not use an electric mixer as it will incorporate too much air into the filling.
  4. Add vanilla and egg and mix until thoroughly combined and smooth.
  5. Remove pastry shells from refrigerator.
  6. Using a teaspoon fill each pastry shell about halfway until all are filled.
  7. Place muffin tin on a baking sheet. Bake 13 to 15 minutes in preheated oven, or until centers are set.
  8. Remove tarts from oven to a wire rack. Cool for 2-3 minutes.
  9. Using an offset spatula or table knife run gently around the edge of each tart to loosen.
  10. Allow tarts to cool completely.
  11. Again using the offset spatula or table knife remove the tarts from the muffin tin by running around and under each tart gently.