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Chocolate Bacon Butter Tarts

Sharman - Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Chocolate Bacon Butter Tarts

It’s not every day that you get to learn baking tips from an Order of Canada recipient, but that was just the case for those in attendance at this year’s Christmas in November at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge.

In Elizabeth Baird & Emily Richards baking session Elizabeth shared a history lesson and explained how butter tarts originated in Canada. This truly Canadian dessert is delicious in the classic recipe, but the duo from the Canadian Living test kitchen gave it a sweet and savoury spin with this chocolate bacon butter tart recipe.

Chocolate Bacon Butter Tarts
Recipe courtesy of Elizabeth Baird & Emily Richards

Makes 12 to 24 tarts depending on size

Rich Short Crust
1 1/2 cups (425 mL) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
2/3 cup (150 mL) cold butter, cubed
1 large egg yolk
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
ice water

Filling:
1 large egg at room temperature
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 tsp each lemon juice and vanilla
1/2 cup cooked bacon bits

Filling:
In a large bowl, beat or whisk together the egg, brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, lemon juice and vanilla. Set aside.

Rich Short Crust:
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa and salt. With fingertips or a pastry blender, work the butter into the flour mixture, working briskly until the mixture looks like coarse breadcrumbs with a few larger pieces.

In a measuring cup, whisk the egg yolk, lemon juice and enough ice water to make a generous 1/3 cup. Sprinkle over the flour mixture, tossing the dry and wet ingredients together with a fork until the mixture clumps and there are no floury bits at the bottom of the bowl. Press and gently knead pastry together. Divide in half; flatten into two smooth discs. Chill if time allows, letting pastry come back to cool room temperature before rolling.

On a floured surface, roll out pastry to 1/8 inch (3mm) thickness. Using a 4-inch (10 cm) round cooking cutter, cut out 12 circles, retrolling scraps if necessary. Fit into two 3/4 inch x 1 1/4 (7 x 3 cm) muffin cups or tart tins, or smaller depending on your tins. Divide bacon bits among the tart shells. Spoon in filling until shells are about three-quarters full.

Bake in the bottom third of a preheated 425F (220 C) oven for six minutes. Reduce heat to 375F (190 C) and bake until the pastry is golden and filling bubbling, about 8 – 10 minutes. Let stand for two minutes. Run an offset spatula around the tarts to loosen them; carefully slide the spatula under the tarts and transfer to a rack to cool.

(Make-ahead: Store layered with waxed paper in cookie tins for up to three days, or freeze for up to two months. Let thaw if required and reheat gently before serving.