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Julie Van Rosendaal: June 30

Food and nutrition columnist Julie Van Rosendaal makes bacon butter tarts. 
Click on read more for recipe...




Bacon Butter Tarts

A few ways to up the bacon ante: replace some of the fat in the pastry with chilled bacon drippings, or drizzle some into the filling in place of some of the melted butter. Basic butter tart recipe adapted from the Five Roses Cookbook (although they are all very similar).

Pastry:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup butter (or half butter, half lard), chilled and cut into pieces
1/2 cup cold water

Filling:
2 large eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup maple or Roger's Golden syrup
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 Tbsp. lemon juice or cider vinegar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup(ish) chopped cooked, crumbled bacon, currants, raisins or chopped pecans

To make the pastry, in a large bowl stir together the flour, sugar and salt. Add the butter and blend with a pastry blender, fork or your fingers (or pulse in the food processor) until well blended, with some pieces of fat the size of a pea. Drizzle in enough water to make the dough hold together - you'll likely need almost all of it. Shape the pastry into a disc, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes or overnight.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out about 1/8-inch thin; cut into 3-inch rounds with a cutter or glass rim and fit into muffin cups. Reroll the scraps only once to get as many as possible. Preheat the oven to 375F.

To make the filling, in a medium bowl whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, maple syrup, butter, lemon juice and salt, stirring until smooth.

Sprinkle some chopped, cooked bacon, currants, raisins or pecans into the bottom of each pastry cup and fill with the filling mixture, filling almost full. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden. Remove from the pan while the tarts are still warm.

Makes 1 1/2 - 2 dozen tarts.


Beer Apple Fritters

If you're feeding a crowd, this recipe can be easily doubled.

1 cup all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup beer, cider or milk
1 large egg
1 Tbsp. melted butter or oil
1 tart apple, finely chopped

canola or peanut oil, for frying
icing sugar or cinnamon sugar, for dusting

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Add the beer, egg and melted butter and whisk just until combined. Stir in the chopped apple.

In a heavy medium saucepan, heat a couple inches of oil over medium-high heat. When a scrap of bread sizzles when you dip it in, drop a few small spoonfuls of batter at a time into the oil, without crowding the pan. Flip as they turn golden, and continue to cook until golden on the other side. Transfer to paper towels to drain.

Douse in cinnamon sugar or icing sugar while still warm. Makes about 1 1/2 dozen.

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