Thankful for Canadian Maple Butter Tarts
Happy Thanksgiving to our friends in Canada! Do you and your kids know some ways in which Canadian Thanksgiving is similar to and different from Thanksgiving in the US?
Same: They’re both an annual celebration of food, family, and fall.
Different: Canadian Thanksgiving is on the second Monday of October, the same day as US Indigenous Peoples’ Day (formerly Columbus Day). In the US, Thanksgiving is on the fourth Thursday of November.
Same: Both countries gather around the TV for football and a Thanksgiving Day parade.
Different: The first European celebration of Thanksgiving in Canada is thought to have taken place in 1578, when Sir Martin Frobisher and his crew arrived in Nunavut after a long expedition from England. They gave thanks for their safe arrival and ate a meal of salt beef, biscuits, and mushy peas—a little different from our Thanksgiving meals today! That was 43 years before the Pilgrims’ first Thanksgiving in present-day America.
Same: In both countries, you’ll find tables loaded with roasted turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, autumn vegetables, and pumpkin pie.
Different: In Canada, you’ll also find regional dishes like salmon, wild game, split-pea pudding, and butter tarts.
Gather your young kitchen helpers, and whip up a batch of festive tarts sweetened with a classic Canadian favorite—maple syrup.
For background music, queue up tunes from Canadian musicians like Justin Bieber, Carly Rae Jepsen, The Weeknd, Shania Twain, Shawn Mendes, Alanis Morissette, Neil Young, and Avril Lavigne.
Then it’s time to get baking, eh?
- 12 pre-made tart shells (check your freezer section by the pie shells) or pastry dough for 1 double-crust pie
- 1 cup of raisins or walnuts (optional)
- ⅔ cup brown sugar
- ⅓ cup butter, softened
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup real maple syrup
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour (if you like a more oozing filling, skip the flour)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (optional)
1. Preheat your oven to 375° F (190° C).
2. Place premade tart shells on a baking sheet or cut your pastry dough into 12 three-inch circles and fit them into a muffin pan.
3. Evenly add raisins or walnuts to the bottoms of your shells.
3. Beat brown sugar and butter together in a bowl until smooth.
4. Whisk in eggs, maple syrup, salt, and flour and vanilla extract if you’re using them.
5. Fill each tart shell ⅔- ¾ full with the mixture, distributing it equally in the shells.
6. Bake in a preheated oven until the filling is set and the shells are golden, about 20-25 minutes. To cook the tarts more evenly, turn the pan halfway through the baking time.
7. Remove from the oven and let cool. When you’re ready to serve, top with a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream.
In keeping with the Canadian theme, enjoy your tarts while watching a movie starring a Canadian actor, like The Little Prince (Rachel McAdams), The Truman Show (Jim Carrey), or A Monster in Paris (Catherine O’Hara).