Anna Olson’s Raisin Butter Tarts
FooDiva was recently invited to a private function to meet Anna Olson. Who is she you may ask, as I did? Well she’s pretty famous in Canada as a celebrity chef, presenting two syndicated TV programmes on the Food Network and the author of seven cookbooks. Anna was in Dubai for Gulf Food, and to showcase the melange of fresh ingredients and seasonal produce in Canadian cuisine – the latter is something she is particularly insistant on. Now foodwise, Canada for FooDiva conjures up images of maple syrup and icewine…the latter much preferred!
So when I tasted her raisin butter tart canapes at this event – now Anna is a trained pastry chef, and by her own admission this is her signature dessert – I just had to keep on asking for more. The tartness of the raisin offsets that traditional buttery taste, whilst the crisp pastry encases that lovely gooey texture…well until there are no more. FooDiva had to share the recipe:
ANNA OLSON RECIPE – RAISIN BUTTER TARTS
Makes 12 butter tarts
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
4 tsp granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup cool unsalted butter
1 large egg
2 tbsp cold water
¾ cup dark brown sugar, packed
¾ cup corn syrup
½ cup unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup golden raisins
In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine flour, sugar and salt. Cut butter into small pieces (you can pull the butter from the fridge 30 minutes before adding) and add to flour, mixing until dough is a rough, crumbly texture. Whisk egg and water and add at once, mixing until dough comes together. Shape dough into 2 logs, wrap in plastic and chill for at least one hour.
Preheat oven to 400 °F and lightly grease a 12-cup muffin tin. Lightly dust a worksurface with flour and unwrap pastry logs. Slice each log into six pieces. Roll each piece to about ¼-inch thickness and line each muffin cup (you can trim the crust, or leave the “ruffle” of pastry for a pretty effect once it bakes. Chill lined muffin tin while preparing filling.
Whisk sugar, corn syrup and butter in a bowl by hand until combined. Whisk in eggs, then vinegar and vanilla. Sprinkle a few raisins in the bottom of each muffin cup and pour filling over the raisins. Bake the tarts for 5 minutes, then reduce oven to 375 °F and continue baking until butter tart filling starts to dome, about 20 more minutes. Cool tarts in the tin, and chill the tarts in the tin before removing.