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Tossing Pebbles in the Stream

This blog is my place to sit and toss pebbles into the stream. The stream of Life relentlessly passing before us. We can affect it little. For the most part I just watch it passing and follow the flow. Occasionally, I need to comment on its passing, tossing a pebble at it to enjoy the ripple affect upon Life's surface.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Butter Tarts, Yummy!

I recently read an article on butter tart summer festivals.   I did not know there were such summer festivals to the iconic Canadian sweet treat. There is one in the Muskoka cottage district half way to Toronto from here.

Oh, how I miss my mother's butter tarts. She made wonderful ones because she made wonderful pastry, which makes all the difference between the ordinary and extraordinary tart.  The photo below reminded me  of how my mother's tarts looked.


Butter tarts are  Canadian desserts.  Usually, American friends visiting us have never heard of them of had one. After having some, even the run of the mill ones sold in stores, they end up taking some home with them to the US.

The origin of the butter tart is not certain. Several origins are looked. I think it is nice there is both British and a French possible origin.  It may originate with the Scottish Ecclefechan tart or the French tarte à la frangipane. It may date back to the 16th century.  It certainly has become a widely enjoyed pastry treat in Canada along with other pastry treats more regionally identifiable, Nanaimo bars and beavertails.

In looking up a little more information about the butter tart I fond this article on a contest a few years ago, at Riverside Public School in my home town of Port Credit.  I remember this school well down in the village by the river, for three years, (grades 7,8,9) I took dancing lessons there with many of the young people from different school. It was here that I learned the basics of many dances, ballroom and round dances. I also learned who to politely ask a girl to dance and afterwards to thank her and escort her off the floors. I think the teaching of manner was part of the motivation for the adults that organizes these lessons.  They certainly came in handy in making all of us more comfortable with dances and partners in our teen age years.  It was nice to see that small school was still being innovated with having students make butter tarts.

I have never made butter tarts myself.  I have generally shied away from making pastry. I know it is more an art than a science. I would hate to do it badly and not up to my mother's standard.  Maybe it is time to get over this and try to make some butter tarts, maybe even a blueberry pie?


At 6:32 p.m., Blogger Sissy said...

Reading this has made me hungry for something sweet and flaky. I believe making a perfect pie crust takes practice for some. Jump in there and try - ice water is a key - time's awastin', Philip. Oh yes, blueberry pie is superb!

At 11:08 a.m., Blogger Owen Gray said...

My wife is Italian, Philip. Her gnochi is as special to me as your mother's butter tarts are to you.

At 5:49 p.m., Blogger Anvilcloud said...

There's a store somewhere on the way to Algonquin Park from Bancroft that sell all sorts of pastries, especially butter tarts. I wonder if they're still in business.

Alright: that sent me on a search. The place is in Maynooth and is mentioned on this post of Sue's:

At 5:35 p.m., Blogger troutbirder said...

They even look yummy! btw my comment on Minnesota's moose population included a typo.... it should have read scientists aren't sure of the cause. The likely culprit is a parasite that cause brain damage.

At 5:10 a.m., Blogger judie said...

Philip, I couldn't sleep so I am web crawling since 3 a.m. It's now 5 a.m. and you are making me hungry for butter tarts. Never had one, but I can tell by your description I could easily gobble one up!

At 8:35 a.m., Blogger Ginnie said...

Well, butter tarts are new to me but the one you pictured looks yummy, as you said. Nanaimo bars and beavertails are unknown to me also.
I often think of how close our two countries are but how different in so many ways it's tarts !!


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