Cherry Chocolate Butter Tarts
The words "snow day", "Houston", and "January" typically don't go together. Especially not in January. We'd have a few days of 40F weather, but that's pretty much our winter.
I woke up last Tuesday to a few e-mails, an automated call from work, and a text stating that the office was closed due to the freezing weather conditions. By mid morning, ice and snow was furiously falling out of my window, and the temperatures were dropping every hour.
Houston, we have a "snow day".
Businesses and stores were closed, and everyone I knew was huddled in their homes, keeping warm. I went out once to get my mail and instantly regretted my decision- what felt like a million icy needles stung my uncovered face and hands.
Sure, I had work to keep me busy. But much like the hurricane days home, I began to get inklings of cabin fever. I needed something to get my creative juices going. An e-mail from New York Times Food arrived, with a little ditty on butter tarts. You had me at butter.
Why haven't I heard of Canadian butter tarts before? Is it just one more thing to be envious of Canada for, along with Justin Trudeau and Banff?!
According to the source of all knowledge- Wikipedia, "A butter tart is a type of small pastry tart highly regarded in Canadian cuisine and considered one of Canada's unessential treats."
The tart pastry is a basic, buttery, flaky dough. The filling consists of a custard made of butter, brown sugar, and egg. The tart filling can be baked to preference for a firmer or runnier texture. There are several variations in which you could add nuts, raisins, or chocolate. The ingredients needed for butter tarts are very simple pantry items that can almost be found in every kitchen. I would imagine for situations like these, when people are stuck in their homes, they can make a warm, delectable treat using whatever ingredients that they have on hand.
Using the New York Times recipe, the first batch I made had chocolate and rum soaked raisins. I brought them to work on Thursday, and they slowly dwindled away over the next day and a half. I decided to add cherries and chocolate in my next batch. Buttery, flaky, delicate pastry yields to a most delicate custard. Rich and sweet, with a juicy bite of cherry and decadent chocolate. A perfect anytime dessert.