Les Petits Chefs make “Homegrown” butter tarts with Mairlyn Smith

Homegrown cover on eatlivetravelwrite.comSee those up there ^^^ “Best butter tarts ever.” Or so said all the adults who got to try them this week. And not just any adults, some serious butter tart aficionados, apparently, as there was an animated discussion about nuts vs. no nuts, raisins or no raisins etc… and then a whole other discussion about where to get the best butter tarts in Toronto and cottage country.

Well I know wjere to get the best butter tarts in Toronto: in my own kitchen now, thanks to the recipe in Mairlyn Smith’s upcoming cookbook (her 7th!!) – Homegrown.  We were lucky enough to welcome Mairlyn to the kitchen lab again this week (she’s always a popular guest)  and even luckier that she has a cookbook coming out with this recipe in it because when I tasted them a month or so ago at her house, I was hooked. I am actually not a huge butter tart fan but these? I could eat them all day.

Kids rolling out Mairlyn Smith cream cheese pastry on eatlivetravelwrite.comOf course, the fact that this recipe included one of the boys’ favourite things to make – pastry – meant it was a perfect choice for our session. The boys love working with pastry and this one is a particularly easy one to work with. Just three ingredients – cream cheese, butter and flour. It’s lovely and silky and smooth and rolls beautifully.

Kids rolling pastry dough on eatlivetravelwrite.comMairlyn taught the boys how to use mason jar rings instead of cookie cutters (she’s brilliant, I tell you!)…

Cutting circles on eatlivetravelwrite.com Kids cutting pastry circles on eatlivetravelwrite.comMeanwhile, over on “team filling”….

Butter tart filling on on eatlivetravelwrite.comAgain, the filling comes together really quickly and is full of “all sorts of good things” (butter, sugar, maple syrup, vanilla – I mean who can you go wrong?).

A few little cranberries in the bottom of the tarts…

Kids making butter tarts on eatlivetravelwrite.comAnd a few tablespoons of the filling on top of that…

Kids filling butter tarts on eatlivetravelwrite.comEt voilà  – ready for the oven…

Butter tarts ready for the oven on eatlivetravelwrite.comWhile the tarts baked Mairlyn talked the boys though making the pastry and they each went home with a little piece – and all sorts of possibilities in their heads for filling a pastry case!

Meanwhile, back to those tarts…

Butter tarts from Homegrown on eatlivetravelwrite.comNoone could wait to try these – they were doled out with the warning that they were “very hot” so kudos to the boys for waiting long enough that they didn’t burn their mouths!

I loved hearing Mairlyn speak to the boys so passionately about Canadian-grown/ produced foods and we were all impressed to realise just how many of the butter tart ingredients were, in fact, Canadian.  In fact, Homegrown proves that “Canada” can be a key ingredient in any meal.  From Saskatchewan-farmed lentils to BC blueberries, Nova Scotia scallops to Quebec maple syrup or Albertan barley flour, Homegrown showcases the food that Canadians grow, produce and manufacture.  Canada’s geography provides terrain for some of the world’s most diverse agriculture and Homegrown contains over 175 recipes (collected from members and students of the Ontario Home Economics Association) which celebrate the best of Canada.  Homegrown also includes a wealth of nutritional information and a carb counter with every recipe, which I know the adults who looked over the recipe were interested in seeing (the boys, not so much, yet…).  I cannot wait to read it (20 more sleeps!).

Thanks Mairlyn for taking time out of your busy schedule to work with the boys. We all had a lot of fun, learned something and ate something tasty. Winning all round, I’d say!

Get Mairlyn’s easy-to-make pastry recipe (and watch her demo-ing it) here. For the butter tart recipe, click here.

Homegrown cover on eatlivetravelwrite.com



Homegrown is published on December 1st 2015 (December 15th in the US) and you can order your copy today on Amazon (this link should bring you to the Amazon store in your country) or for free worldwide shipping, buy from The Book Depository.




Please note: The product links from Amazon and The Book Depository are affiliate links, meaning if you click over and purchase something, I will receive a very small percentage of the purchase price which goes towards maintaining eat. live. travel. write. Thank you in advance!


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.