Butter Tarts are a Canadian national treasure. On the great list of quintessential Canadian-isms, appreciating the gooey deliciousness of butter tarts falls somewhere in between driving on a sheet of ice without flinching and knowing all the words to Barenaked Ladies songs.
So leave it to my fellow vegan Canadian, Sarah Kramer, to offer an amazing veganization of the typically not-so-vegan butter tart in her 2010 Go Vegan! Calendar. Sarah uses a bit of vegan butter, but all the flavour comes from the raisins and walnuts (and yes, the sugar too).
Purists often turn up their noses at the use of raisins in butter tarts. Feel free to ignore them. They're just a bunch of haters - everyone knows raisins are awesome.
Further, if the purists are snarky about raisins I can only imagine what they would say about my tarts - after I was already elbow deep in sugar I realized I had next to no raisins in the disaster zone that is also known as my "baking cupboard". Panic started to set in because I had been psyching myself up about these butter tarts for days and the prospect of doing without was distressing (clearly, I live quite the cushy life).
The last thing in the world I was interested in doing was returning to the crazy busy supermarket. What possessed me to go the day before a national holiday in the first place is beyond me. My normal pacifist self became quite hostile after nearly losing an eye while trying to grab a tomato so there was no way I was returning.
I decided to improvise with some of the dried cranberries leftover from the fruity breakfast bars I made last week.
This was indeed a gamble and admittedly I felt a little unpatriotic taking such liberties with our national treat. Turns out that cranberries make for quite the delicious twist on the old butter tart AND they even added some much needed red colour to my Canada Day dessert.
I'm a cheater though, as I was more interested in laying in our gazebo with my book than making homemade pastry dough, so I totally used premade. Shame, shame, double shame.
We had a great Canada Day, filled with beautiful (although slightly chilly for this time of year) weather and
our patriotic pup;
good friends, sparklers, and what ended up being a New Kids on the Block dance off in the kitchen at 2am;
and a beautiful fireworks display at Columbia Lake.