This week I came across a cookbook I haven’t looked at for a few years. It was my Mom’s and she passed it down to me about five years ago because I was the only one who was using it. It is called A Collector’s Stories and Recipes by Mary Cook. I looked at this worn and well loved book this week with a fresh appreciation.
It was published in 1979 and the majority of the book centers around the author’s life growing up on a farm in the Ottawa Valley. As this is where my Mom grew up and where I spent many summers as I child I flipped through these pages with a smile on my face, reminiscing.
I did a little research on Mary Cook and I didn’t find a lot but I won’t lie, I was kind of hoping I would find a food blog filled with more of these fascinating stories. Even though I didn’t I still felt very warm and connected. Then, of course, I had to make my favourite recipe from the book, Mother’s Butter Tarts.
It kind of worked out well that I got a chance to share this recipe with you as I was asked to participate with some other great bloggers in something called the Sweet Holiday Blog Hop. I have never done one of these before but I wanted to try it out so you get an added bonus. Not only do you get my recipe but I’m going to hook you up below with the links to some other yummy holiday treats from some good friends. I am honoured to be included in this group, so in no particular order here they are.
Now on to my recipe, but before I start, I will mention that there is a separate recipe provided for Rich Pastry but I have never made it. I will be the first to tell you there is no shame in using pre made frozen tart shells, I do it all the time! Because of this, I have altered the cooking method to take into account the change.
Ok, here is the recipe complete with Mary Cook’s story.
“Ronny adored my mother’s butter tarts. But none of us liked them unless they ran down our chins when we ate them. We liked them gooey, sweet and rich. In fact we usually had to eat these with a spoon. They are the best butter tarts I have ever tasted.”
2/3 cup very soft butter
2 cups sifted brown sugar
5 Tbsp milk or cream
3 eggs, well beaten
2 tsp vanilla
24 frozen tart shells
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
- Place frozen tart shells on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Mix butter, brown sugar, cream, eggs and vanilla together.
- Divide evenly into the frozen tart shells.
- Bake in the 450 degree oven for 8 minutes.
- Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F and bake until the pastry is delicately browned, which takes approximately 15 minutes.
- Let cool and then enjoy very tasty tarts.