Apple Walnut Canadian Butter Tarts


After Poutine, Canadian butter tarts are Canada's second greatest culinary invention. This is an apple-infused twist on a traditional Canadian butter tart. These have a wonderful texture and flavor and are a perfect small dessert.

Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
10 mins
Bake Time:
20 mins
Cool Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 10 mins
12 tarts

Apple Walnut Canadian Butter Tarts – Sorry, Raisin Canadians, But I Went Big Apple

I've had many people request Canadian butter tarts over the years, and while they all wanted the same thing, they didn't all want it the same way. Some would end their "food wish" with the plea, "don't forget the raisins," or the warning, "you better not add nuts," and it didn't take long to realize that our friends to the north had some very passionate beliefs regarding what is, or is not, a proper butter tart.

The basic recipe is extremely simple, and involves little more than brown sugar, butter, and eggs. Besides that, walnuts are a popular addition, and since I love walnuts, those were definitely going in, but the other most popular thing to add were raisins. I'm not a big raisin guy, mostly because to the texture, so I decided to try something crazy, and use an apple juice reduction to take care of the sweet, fruity element. It worked amazing well.

This was not only the best Canadian butter tart I've ever had, but also one of the best nut tarts, and apple tarts I've ever had. Plus, the recipe couldn't be simpler. Just mix everything in a bowl, pour into the pastry, and bake until bubbling and golden brown. If you like raisins, and/or you don't want to deal with an apple reduction, you can skip that step, and just toss in a handful of dried grapes instead, but either way, I really hope you give these a try soon. Enjoy!


  • cooking spray

  • flour for dusting

  • 1 pound prepared pie crust

  • 2 cups apple juice

  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 tablespoon whipping cream

  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 pinch salt

  • ½ cup chopped walnuts


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly spray a muffin tin with cooking spray.

  2. Dust a work surface with flour and roll out pie dough to a thickness of about 1/8 inch. Cut out 12 circles using a 4-inch round pastry cutter,

  3. Transfer dough into lightly sprayed muffin tin. Press the dough gently into the bottom and sides. Refrigerate while you prepare the filling.

  4. Add apple juice into a saucepan and simmer over medium-high heat until it has reduced to 3 or 4 tablespoons of apple syrup. Set aside.

  5. Place brown sugar into a bowl and pour apple syrup on top of the sugar. Add melted butter, egg, cream, vanilla, and salt. Whisk until filling is liquid and smooth.

  6. Pull pastry out of the fridge. Divide walnuts evenly on top of the bottom of the tart shells. Pour filling on top about 2/3 full. Tap the pan to smooth out filling.

  7. Bake in the preheated oven until crust is cooked through and the filling is bubbly, about 20 minutes. Let cool for about 10 minutes then remove from the muffin tins and serve at room temperature.

    Apple Walnut Canadian Butter Tarts
    Chef John

Cook's Notes:

Any homemade or store-bought pie crust dough will work.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

344 Calories
22g Fat
35g Carbs
4g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 12
Calories 344
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 22g 28%
Saturated Fat 7g 37%
Cholesterol 33mg 11%
Sodium 208mg 9%
Total Carbohydrate 35g 13%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Protein 4g
Potassium 120mg 3%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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