Pie is certainly a traditional dessert to serve with a holiday meal, but the pastry and filling pair seem so much more special when prepared in individual sized portions. Almost any recipe can be converted for use in smaller size tart shells of your choice, but here are three of our favourites. One savoury, two sweet, and all perfectly sized indulgent portions for your most special guests.
Duck Tourtiere Tartlets
– courtesy Chef Tobias Pohl-Weary, Red Canoe Bistro, Burlington
Chef Tobias Pohl-Weary focuses on developing and creating an exceptional dining experience using the finest from Canadian farmers, artisanal producers, hunters, gatherers, fishers and ranchers. Innovative and ever-evolving regional menus are paired with stunning nightly tastings and a vast selection of wines and craft beers. His take on traditional with a twist is presented here by using incredibly tasty duck to prepare the classic holiday tourtiere. To serve as the tartlets the chef has presented here, prepare individual tourtieres in large muffin cups, serve with your favourite side dish.
– 398 John Street, Burlington; 905.637.6137
RECIPE: Duck Tourtiere Tartlets
Chocolate Pecan Tarts
– courtesy Chef Miriam Taylor, Sweetsmoke, Oakville
When you enter Sweetsmoke you will imme- diately be taken by the sweet, smoky scent of Chef Andrew Taylors succulent barbecue. It's the restaurant's specialty, and diners come for fall off the bone ribs and delectable sides. But, the secret is behind the glass dessert counter. Here you'll find Chef Miriam Taylor's (the owners are a husband and wife team) home baked treats. The former pastry chef at Canoe stocks the restaurant with cookies, squares and tarts, each more decadent than the last. These tarts are rich and chocolatey, perfect to serve after any special meal. Plate with berries and whipped cream or very good ice cream and chocolate sauce.
– 3420 Rebecca Street, Oakville; 905.465.0335
RECIPE: Chocolate Pecan Tarts
Aunt Eileen's Butter Tarts
-courtesy Holly Crawford, Editor-in-Chief
It is well known among my friends and colleagues that I am a bit of a baker, and it is how I spend an occasional afternoon in the company of my Mother, mixing and rolling dough. These tarts, originally from my Dad's sister Eileen, are by far the most requested recipe we make. Or, rather I should say the most requested treat. To make perfect pastry, use a stand mixer and mix just until the dough comes together. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour. I typically make the dough a day ahead and chill overnight. This is 1⁄4 of the original recipe for tart filling, double or divide as required. This amount makes about 2 dozen tarts. If you like nuts or raisins in the tarts, sprinkle into the shells and pour filling over.
RECIPE: Aunt Eileen's Butter Tarts