Pecan Tarts

The other night while reading Facebook, a friend, Jane, mentioned she was making “Butter Tarts”.  That sounded good and I asked her for the recipe and got her permission to share it here.  She had written that this was her grandma’s recipe and it was handwritten by Jane (as a child) on the back of an envelope.  I love those type recipes.  “Grandma” recipes are my favorites!.  This is the recipe as Jane gave it to me.

Beat 2 eggs. Mix in 2 cups brown sugar, 1/2 cup corn syrup, 1 tsp salt, sprinkle of nutmeg, 2 tsp vanilla, 1 TBS+ butter, raisins (or fruit)…4-5 handfuls and/or nuts. Use more raisins than nuts.
Put approx 1TBS of filling in each tart shell. Bake at 325F. Don’t let filling boil too long. 15-20 minutes. Do not wait for pastry to brown…judge by filling.

Jane told me that she buys her tart shells and she told me they were about 3″ across and about 1″ deep.  Then I remembered some pecan mini tarts that my mom makes that are so good.  We’re not much on raisins so I substituted cherry flavored Craisins and combined mom’s recipe and Jane’s recipe and I’m calling them Butter Pecan Tarts.

Butter Pecan Tarts

Some are mini and some are full size tarts.  All are good!

For the crust, I pinched off a ball, a little larger than a marble for the mini tarts, and about half the size of an egg for the larger tarts.  I simply smashed and flattened the dough out in my hand.

Cream Cheese Dough

Then I mashed it into the tart pans, which had been sprayed with non-stick spray.

Mom’s recipe said to fill the mini-tart pans about half full and Jane’s recipe says to put about 1 tablespoon in the tart pans.  You will think that’s not quite enough (I added more which was too much) but stick with the half full suggestion for the mini tarts and the 1 tablespoon for the tarts.

Bake til done!

I let them cool in the pan for about 10 minutes.  The tarts that had overflowed a bit, I loosened them with a butter knife but the others just popped right out of the pan.

These are great if you need to take a dish somewhere or for giving as little goodies.

My neighbor came over to get some.  While she and I were out talking, Vince ate one and he came running out and said “Theyr’e not good!  Give them back!”  She looked at me kinda funny and I said “He’s joking!”

Butter Pecan Tarts

Crust:1 stick butter
3 oz. cream cheese
1 cup flour

Let butter and cream cheese come to room temp.  Beat together and add flour.  Place mixture in the fridge til it’s cold enough to work with.  Press enough into the bottom and sides of the pans.  I used about a marble sized ball for the mini tarts and a ball about half the size of an egg for the tarts.

2 eggs
2 T. butter (softened or melted)
1-3/4 cups brown sugar, packed
1/4 tsp. (scant) ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
2/3 cups raisins or Craisins
2/3 cups chopped nuts (If making mini-tarts, chop the nuts rather finely)  I used pecans

Mix all ingredients.  For mini-tarts, fill the shells half full.  For tarts, place 1 tablespoon of filling in each shell.  Bake at 350º.  Bake the mini-tarts for about 25 minutes.  Bake the tarts for about 30 minutes.  When the top of the filling is brown and crusty, they’re done.  Don’t wait for crusts to look brown.

Allow to cool in pan for about 10 minutes.  Remove from pan and allow to finish cooling on a wire rack.


  1. 1

    Colleen Gander says

    ‘I’m guessing that Jane’s recipe is a Canadian one as it is supposed to have originated here. My mother tells a funny story of early days in her marriage when she was trying to please her new husband with her baking. If he loved butter tarts so much, she reasoned, wouldn’t a whole pie be even better? Something about the proportions was off and the results weren’t as spectacular as she’d hoped. She went beck to the standard butter tart and makes him happy every Christmas with several dozen..

  2. 2

    Diana in RR Texas says

    I have my Mom’s recipe for Pecan tarts and some of her small pans. One of Mom’s brothers did wood working as a hobby and he made tampers for us that were just perfect for the tart pans. I haven’t made those in a long time.

  3. 3


    Those look yummy! I like to share recipes! I lived in Oakland, CA during the fire storms and for days bits of photographs, recipes, burned… stuff… showered down in my yard. So go ahead and share those “secret” recipes because that way you always will have a friend to get a second copy from if something happens to your original!

  4. 4

    Audrey says

    Yes, butter tarts are a Canadian classic. Judy, even with the changes you made, I would say you are now part Canadian. Welcome to my world.

  5. 5

    Jane says

    Yes Colleen…..Canadian!!! :-). I’m so glad you love them Judy (and Vince) !!!!! I love how via the Internet a person can do so much sharing!!!! Merry Christmas!!!!!!!

  6. 6

    Wendy says

    Thanks for the recipes.. Butter tarts on the list to bake on Christmas Eve. I use currants instead of raisins as that is how my Mum made them. What is the measurement for 1 stick of butter.?

  7. 7


    I will be trying these! I’m not a fan of raisins either, but I think they will be wonderful with dried cranberries instead–and I love that your recipe does not use corn syrup (allergic to corn). Thanks! (Oh, I like the cream cheese crust too.)

  8. 8

    Lee says

    Haha, love Vince’s efforts to keep more of them at home…does that mean you’ll have make even more?

  9. 9


    Judy, Judy, Judy!!!!!

    You are an absolute ANGEL! The dough you use for your tart shell is the recipe I used years ago and lost. I was going to do a search to try to find it tonight, now I don’t have to!!!!! I have all my Christmas baking done, but these tarts are my hubby’s absolute favorite (along with cherry kolachy). I’m going to put the recipe in my file right now so I don’t lose it again.

    Hugs! Thank you! Merry Christmas!

  10. 10

    Kathy C says

    Thank you for this. I was looking for just something like this for the holiday. My daughter’s baby is due 12/27 so I didn’t want to take the chance on making pies that would get soggy if she went into labor on Christmas Eve/Day.
    I do have one little trick I use when I make tarts. I roll out the crust to the size I need and then just lay it over each tart opening. Then I take a shot glass and use the bottom to press the dough into the pan. Works like a charm and makes it quick and easy.

  11. 11

    Rosalie says

    My mother used to bake little pecan tarts and I did too. A Canadian friend made the butter tarts and gave me the recipe. By the way, the little pecan tarts keep well in the freezer…a way to hide a few for a special treat in a few weeks or months!