Cranberry-pecan butter tarts


  • Prep Time20 mins
  • Total Time20 mins
  • Makes12 servings
*PLUS Baking Time: 40 minutes plus chilling time
Cranberry-pecan butter tarts
Chatelaine Triple Tested

Your search for the best butter tarts stops here. This light, flaky pastry holds a rich filling that isn’t too runny or too thick.


  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 tbsp brown sugar

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 3/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes

  • 2 to 3 tbsp ice-cold water


  • 1/3 cup dried dried cranberries

  • 2 tbsp rum, or orange juice

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour

  • 3/4 cup corn syrup

  • 2 eggs

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

  • 2 tsp vanilla

  • 24 pecan halves, about 1/2 cup


  • Place 1 ¾ cups (425 mL) flour, 1 tbsp (15 mL) sugar and salt in a food processor. Whirl until mixed. Add cold butter. Pulse until coarse crumbs form. Add ice-cold water, 1 tbsp (15 mL) at a time, pulsing just until dough comes together. Or stir flour with sugar and salt in a bowl. Using two forks, mix in butter until mixture forms coarse crumbs. Using a fork, work in water, 1 tbsp (15 mL) at a time, until dough can be shaped into a ball. Flatten into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until cold enough to easily roll out, about 20 min.

  • For filling, place cranberries and rum in a small bowl. Microwave on medium-high for 30 sec. In another bowl, stir ½ cup (125 mL) sugar with 3 tbsp (45 mL) flour. Pour corn syrup into a medium-sized bowl. Whisk in eggs, melted butter and vanilla. Stir sugar mixture into corn syrup mixture until blended. Set aside.

  • Place rack in lower third of oven. Preheat oven to 400F (200C). Oil or spray a 12-cup muffin tin. Lightly flour counter and roll out cold dough no thicker than ¼ in. (0.5 cm). (Thin dough works best.) Using a 4-in. (10-cm) round cookie cutter, cut out 12 circles, re-rolling dough pieces if necessary. Ease a pastry circle into each muffin cup, ruffling top edge as needed. Sprinkle 1 heaping tsp (7 mL) of rum-soaked cranberries into each shell, followed by 2 pecan halves. Pour corn syrup mixture into pastry shells until each is about three-quarters full. Bake on bottom rack of oven until filling is bubbly and top is golden, 18 to 20 min. While still warm, run a knife tip around edges of tarts. Cool completely in tin. Tarts will keep well at room temperature up to 1 day, covered and refrigerated up to 2 days or frozen up to 1 month.

Nutrition (per serving)

Calories 330, Protein 3g, Carbohydrates 43g, Fat 17g, Fibre 1g, Sodium 124mg.