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4.5 from 4 votes

Gluten-Free Maple Butter Tarts with Pecan Filling

Enjoy the classic Canadian treat, gluten-free! These gluten-free butter tarts have a sweet maple filling with crunchy pecans inside wrapped in a flakey gluten-free pastry. You'll never believe they are gluten-free!
Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Canadian
Servings: 10 tarts
Calories: 170kcal

Equipment

  • 12-cup metal muffin tin

Ingredients

Pastry Shell

  • ¾ cup gluten-free all-purpose flour I use Bob's Red Mill 1:1 Gluten-Free Baking Flour (blue bag).
  • teaspoon granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • ¼ cup cold salted butter, cut into cubes If using unsalted butter, add an additional ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoon ice cold water

Butter Tart Filling

  • cup + 2 teaspoon packed brown sugar For a double batch, use ¾ cup packed
  • 2 tablespoon salted butter If using unsalted butter, add an additional ⅛ teaspoon salt to the filling
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • teaspoon milk of choice
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • teaspoon salt
  • ½ egg Whisk one egg then use a kitchen scale to divide in half, should be about 25g. For a double batch, use 1 whole egg.
  • cup pecan slices Can omit or use raisins or chocolate chips.

Instructions

To make the tart shell

  • Place the gluten-free flour, sugar, and salt in a medium-size bowl. Lightly whisk together with a fork. 
  • Pour in the white vinegar and add the cubes of cold butter. Use a pastry cutter or your hands to gently break down the butter cubes and cut them into the flour. You want there to be small chunks of butter throughout the flour and for it to become slightly sticky. Add ice water a tablespoon at a time until the mixture will form into a ball and not crumble, typically 4 tablespoons. 
  • Once the mixture will form a ball, gently flatten it into a thick disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Place in the freezer for about 30 minutes for the dough to solidify. 

To make the filling

  • While the dough chills, you can create the butter tart filling. Place the brown sugar, butter, and maple syrup into a cold, small saucepan. Place on the stove and turn the heat up to medium. Allow the ingredients to melt together, about 3-5 minutes. Gently stir with a rubber spatula (not a whisk! That will introduce too much air into the filling). Once everything is combined and the sugar has dissolved, remove from the heat.
  • Add in the milk, vanilla extract, and salt. Stir with the spatula. Wait 3-5 minutes for the filling to cool down a bit, then stir in the ½ egg. Ensure everything is mixed thoroughly, then set aside until ready to use. Stir lightly with the spatula every 10 minutes to ensure the filling does not crystallize. 

To assemble the butter tarts

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Prepare a 12-cup metal muffin tin by greasing 10 cups with coconut oil or cooking spray. 
  • Pull the tart dough out of the freezer. If it is too solid, allow to sit at room temperature for a few minutes. Once you're able to slightly poke the dough, remove from the plastic wrap. It's time to work, and work quickly.
  • Place the dough disk between 2 new pieces of plastic wrap or parchment paper. Be sure to sprinkle both pieces with some extra gluten-free flour to avoid sticking. The plastic or parchment will help with removing the tart cut outs easily. Use a rolling pin on top of the covered dough to roll to a thickness of approximately ⅛". Use a 3.5" diameter cookie cutter (or a glass) to cut out tart rounds. If it's a bit sticky, dust both sides of the round with flour. 
  • Gently push the round into one of the greased muffin cups. It may fold in on itself slightly and that's okay. Use your fingers to gently repair and form a little cup shape. Use a fork to prick the bottom of the tart twice for air release when baking. Repeat with the rest of the tart dough. You should produce about 10 butter tarts. You may have to re-roll the dough in order to make the cut-outs. If the dough begins to melt and become sticky, wrap it in the plastic wrap again and place in the freezer for 10 minutes before continuing. While you wait for the dough to re-solidify, place the muffin tin in the fridge to chill as well. Once all of the dough is cut and placed into the muffin tin, bake at 400°F for 8-9 minutes.
  • Remove the muffin tin from the oven and drop the temperature to 375°F. Place about 3 sliced pecans (or a handful of whatever fillings you like) into each tart shell. Pour the filling into each tart shell to just below the top edge. Don't go too high or you risk the filling bubbling over. Bake again at the lower temperature for 10-11 minutes until the crust is golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes. Run a sharp knife around the edge of the tart shells to gently remove the butter tarts. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Enjoy warm after about 15 minutes, or once they come to room temperature. Once cooled completely (approximately 2 hours), store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Some people also like to enjoy them cool from the fridge! Butter tarts will keep in the fridge for 5 days. You can also freeze butter tarts for up to 1 month, and allow to thaw at room temperature for a few hours before enjoying again. 

Notes

Storage Instructions
Store butter tarts in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Some people like to enjoy them cool from the fridge. Butter tarts will keep in the fridge for 5 days. You can also freeze butter tarts for up to 1 month, and allow to thaw at room temperature for a few hours (or overnight) before enjoying again. 

Nutrition

Calories: 170kcal | Carbohydrates: 20.5g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 10.6g | Saturated Fat: 4.7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3.3g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 26.6mg | Sodium: 148mg | Potassium: 46.8mg | Fiber: 0.8g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 68.3IU | Vitamin C: 0.04mg | Calcium: 21.1mg | Iron: 0.19mg