Bryn's Mom's Butter Tarts

  • 1 Recipe pastry dough (see below), rolled and cut into tarts or 1 dozen frozen prepared tart shells
Pastry Dough
  • 2 cups Unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 3/4 cup Vegetable shortening, divided
  • 1/4 cup Cold water
  • 1 1/2 cups Brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 1 Egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp Corn syrup
  • 2 tbsp Half and half cream
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla
  • 3/4 cup Plump golden raisins
  • 3/4 cup Toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped


  1. Dough: In a large mixing bowl, combine flour and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in 2 cup shortening, and continue blending until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.
  2. Add the remaining (4 cup) shortening, and continue to blend and cut in until the crumbs are the size of peas. Sprinkle water over the flour mixture, and toss lightly with a fork.
  3. Gather the dough into a ball. Roll out on a lightly floured surface and cut into an appropriate size to fit tart pans.
  4. Filling: Preheat oven to 400°F. Place prepared tart shells in refrigerator or freezer to chill for 10 minutes. In a large (4 cup) measuring cup, combine the brown sugar, butter and egg. Add corn syrup, cream and vanilla and mix well.
  5. Into each tart shell, sprinkle 2 dozen raisins and a few walnut pieces. Pour enough of the filling into each shell to be 3/4 full and bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.