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My Mum’s Prized Butter Tarts

This recipe was on our old web-site and we’ve had lots of requests for it to be reposted on the new site.  It was one of my Mum’s best recipes and she always made the tarts at Christmas time or when I went back to England to visit.  They were a special treat.

(Butter tarts are a type of small pastry that is primarily eaten in and associated with the English-speaking provinces of Canada.    It is thought they were common in pioneer times.)

Pastry:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ cup of unsalted butter
½ cup lard
About 1 cup of ice- cold water

Put first five ingredients in a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs.  Empty into a large bowl.  Add the flour, a little at a time, using just enough to bind the mixture. Collect all moistened particles into a ball.  With as little handling as possible, form dough into a round disk.  Place on a lightly floured surface.  It should be soft enough not to break when it is rolled. Handle the pastry as little as possible.  Kneading will toughen it. Roll with a light even pressure to a thickness of ¼ inch.  Cut into 3-inch circles and line tartlet pans.

Butter Tart Mixture:
1/3 cup unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 beaten large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup currants

Preheat oven to 450˚F

Mix all the ingredients together and place a heaped teaspoon of the mixture into tartlet pans that have been lined with pastry.  Put on center rack in the oven. Bake at 450˚F degrees for eight minutes.  Reduce to 350˚F degrees and bake until the pastry is lightly browned.  Remove tartlet pan from oven and place on cooling rack for about ten minutes.

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Apple-Green Tea Cocktail

 

Ingredients:
10 heaped teaspoons green tea
2-1/2 cups water
½ cup ice
Hard cider
Vodka
Apple slices for garnish
Blue sugar for garnish

  1. Heat 1 cup of the water until nearly boiling. Add the tea and let steep for five minutes.
  2. Strain the tea over the remaining 1-1/2 cups of water and add ½ cup of ice cubes.

For each glass:

  1. Rim a tall glass(16 oz.) with Blue Sugar.  Fill with ice. Add 1 shot of vodka, 2/3 cups of hard cider and top off with the green tea.
  2. Garnish with an apple slice and serve.

Serves five.

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Earl Grey Chocolate Truffles

Do you like making Christmas gifts for your friends and family?  Earl Grey Chocolate Truffles are so easy to make and delectable to eat.
INGREDIENTS
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces and softened
2 heaped teaspoons loose Earl Grey tea leaves
6 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), chopped
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

PREPARATION

Bring cream and butter to a boil in a small heavy saucepan and stir in tea leaves. Remove from heat and let steep 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, finely grind chocolate in a food processor and transfer to a bowl. Pour cream through a fine-mesh sieve onto chocolate, pressing on and discarding tea leaves, then whisk until smooth. Chill ganache, covered, until firm, about 2 hours.

Spoon level teaspoons of ganache onto a baking sheet. Put cocoa in a bowl, then dust your palms lightly with it. Roll each piece of ganache into a ball (wash your hands and redust as they become sticky). Drop several balls at a time into bowl of cocoa and turn to coat. Transfer as coated to an airtight container, separating layers with wax paper.

Makes approximately 34 truffles

Note:  Truffles can be made 1 week ahead and chilled, or 1 month ahead and frozen in an airtight container. Advise making them on the small size because they are very rich.