Two sunglasses of beige with a soupy indoors that’s often lumpy with lusciously plump raisins, butter brownies are perhaps the ugliest of desserts. But to dismiss them is to lose out on one of the sleeper hits of the baking international. When made properly, a butter tart is a proper treat—an effortlessly transportable, handheld pie with a flaky crust and a candy, gooey filling. And raisins? I say carry ‘em on.
Along with Beaver Tails and Nanaimo bars, butter truffles shape the Holy Trinity of extraordinarily English-Canadian cakes. While the primary two are finicky, the butter tart is a cinch for domestic bakers to master. It’s made of accessible components—just flour, butter, eggs, corn syrup, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt. But for the sort of simple and homely delicacy, the butter tart generates plenty of emotions—and now not simply amongst folks who view raisins as an abominable addition.
Where exactly did butter brownies come from?
According to the Ontario Association of Agricultural Societies, a butter tart must have a smooth, flaky pastry and not using crimps or ridges and a sweet, raisin-flecked filling that’s neither too runny nor too strong. But of direction, others swear via gushy filling that oozes down your chin. No one knows who created the first golden one, however, mother-of-six Margaret McLeod turned into the first to write down the recipe (within the Barrie Auxiliary’s 1900 Royal Victoria Cookbook). Chatelaine published its first butter tart recipe in April 1931, when the mag became just 3 years antique. (Well, genuinely, it become called a butterscotch tart, but the ingredients are same to that of a butter tart.) “A butter tart changed into quite clean to make and it becomes fairly moderately priced, so whipping up a pan of them wasn’t difficult,” says Lenore Newman, a meals historian and a geography professor at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver.
By the Nineteen Fifties, butter brownies have been a part of the picnic lunch bins sold at Eaton’s Department Store in Toronto, seemingly at Mrs. Eaton’s insistence. (Clearly, she becomes certainly one of Canada’s early food influencers.) Tarts have continued along this business trajectory and now pretty plenty each self-respecting indie café, bakery, your nearest grocery shop—even Tim Hortons has them.
There’s no such component as too many cakes
Ontario has now not one, but butter tart trails competing for our sweet, sweet tourism bucks. The Butter Tarts and Buggies Tour in Wellington North county highlights the place’s Mennonite background and the Butter Tart Tour has about 50 participating butter tart bakeries. (In 2013, the tart contingent in Wellington North even considered a lawsuit against the City of Kawartha Lakes to have that vicinity quit and desist their tarty advertising strategy.) But because it turns out the more brownies, the merrier. During high season, the Kawartha Buttertart Factory in Warsaw, Ontario bakes up to at least one, two hundred butter brownies an afternoon, in keeping with Cathy Smith, who owns the two-12 months-old bakery along the Butter Tart Tour. (The Plain Jane is the maximum famous, accompanied via raisin-filled.) And in Mount Forest’s The Spot Restaurant, at the Butter Tarts and Buggies Trail, you may get a slice of butter tart pie in addition to the conventional handheld treats.
While domestic baker Margaret McLeod could be greatly surprised that humans might force hours for a butter tart, food tourism has grown to be an essential part of the economy. All throughout North America, there’s been a huge increase in food-associated tourism, explains Newman, as humans are seeking for to accumulate studies (as well as fodder for his or her Instagram feed) in preference to possessions. According to a 2016 file from the World Food Travel Association, eighty percentage of leisure travelers were influenced to go to a selected destination based totally on a culinary pastime or attraction “People need to enjoy the landscape by means of attractive with food,” she says.
Last 12 months, 4, four hundred human beings showed up at Port Hope Memorial Park at the ultimate weekend of September for the Butter Tart Tour’s annual Taste-Off. But that’s nothing compared to the crowds at the annual Ontario Butter Tart Festival. On June nine, 2018, Midland, Ontario’s populace more than quadrupled whilst around 70,000 butter tart enthusiasts descended on the town. They devoured one hundred fifty,000 cakes in nine hours and generated nearly $4 million for Simcoe County. Both expert and domestic bakers competed in butter tart contests and festival-goers who had been feeling especially active may also run the Tart Trot—a 1/2-marathon, 10 or 5K with butter truffles to be had at each water station alongside the direction.