Make the World’s Best Butter Tarts for Your Mom this Mother’s Day

Make the World’s Best Butter Tarts for Your Mom this Mother’s Day

I spent a lot of time in the kitchen with my mother. I remember how she would set up her easel and paints in the kitchen, and with a photo or post card in hand, she would paint away: forests, landscapes, and mountains.

One time, she set me up with a small scrap of board and let me paint my own forest. She gave me some tips on how to prepare the sky, how to do the trunk, how to paint the leaves. It wasn’t bad -- for a five year old.

Not only was my mother a talented artist, (checkout some of her work here) but she also was a fabulous baker. 

When she made bread, she would put the rising dough into a huge enamel pot and cover it with a cloth. I was fascinated to watch as the dough would rise under the cloth, and then, when she removed the cloth, see the lovely soft mound peeking up above the rim of the pot. Then, plop, she would punch it in, and the dough would disappear back into the pot again.

The best part, of course, was a slice of that newly baked bread, with butter and jam. Yum.

After one of my home economics classes, I came home and announced that I wanted to make dinner. I kicked Mom out of the kitchen and slaved away at the meal. I carefully prepared the tomato pasta dish I had learned in class, and a beautiful Lemon Meringue Pie, from scratch. It was a thing of beauty, everyone agreed.

The pasta dinner was a success. Next up was the beautiful Lemon Meringue Pie -- from scratch! Mom took the knife and plunged it into the fluffy, perfectly brown tipped  mounds of meringue, deep down to the bottom. There was a look of confusion on Mom’s face. She was having a bit of trouble getting the knife to go all the way down. After a bit of a battle with the crust, she managed to get a piece of the pie out and on a plate, and gave it to Dad. 

She then succeeded to carve out another piece, and put it on a plate for herself. They both dug in. After my mother complimented me for my efforts, especially the lovely lemon and meringue (from scratch) she looked at me lovingly and said, “How about I teach you how I make pastry?”

After she showed me her way of making pastry (which she no doubt learned from her mom), my pastry never (well, mostly never) tasted like cardboard again. 

She also made the best butter tarts. So, to celebrate Mother’s Day, I would like to share with you . . .

The World’s Best Butter Tarts!

Don’t wait until Mother’s Day to do something special with you mother.  

  • Makes 1 dozen tarts. 
  • Bake at 400F for 20 minutes. 


  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½  (pkg) shortening or lard
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • Water 


  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 egg



In a large bowl, add flour, salt and sugar and stir lightly. Add shortening/lard, cut up into cubes. With a pastry blender, cut shortening/lard into the flour until it resembles coarse crumbs.

Beat egg in a measuring cup.  Add vinegar and then add water until it reaches 1 cup. 

Pour liquid into the flour mixture and mix together with the pastry blender. Get your hands right in there and continue kneading the mixture until it comes together, but be careful not to to overdo it.

Alternate method: Using a Food Processor

Put flour, salt and sugar into the food processor. Cut up shortening or lard into cubes and add to the processor. Run until shortening resembles coarse crumbs.

Beat egg in a measuring cup.  Add vinegar and then add water until it reaches 1 cup. 

Turn on the food processor and pour in liquid mixture. Let it run until the mixture comes together. Don’t let it run too long.


Beat butter until it is soft. Add egg and beat until smooth. Add brown sugar and salt and mix thoroughly. Mix in raisins until evenly distributed. 

Scoop a heaping tablespoon of the mixture into the tart shells.

We invite you to use the comment section to celebrate your mother by sharing your story. 

Subscribe below to make sure you don't miss any future posts.