Ah, so we ALL like a little gratuitous sugar, eh?
I'd love to send some to you, Abby (and to everyone else who so kindly stroked my baker's ego with those glowing compliments), but for some reason I don't think they'd travel well - and I can't think of anything sadder than a box full of sticky tart crumbs stuck to errant globs of filling.
Okay, I actually can think of a few things sadder than some busted tarts, but you know what I mean.
So I'm doing the next best thing and posting the recipe, which includes the dough (which yes, I did make myself, she said proudly).
PLEASE someone make these. Honest to God, they're so good and really, really easy. The worst part is making the pastry, and this recipe makes such lovely supple dough even THAT'S not all that taxing.
One quick word of advice though: Cut the filling recipe in half. I did and it STILL made more than two dozen tarts. If you're not interested in having an army of tarts taunting you with their sugary goodness for weeks on end (from the depths of your freezer, of course, since these probably shouldn't be hanging about for weeks on end), I recommend making just half the recipe. I made the full amount of pastry dough though. I just froze what I didn't use (which means my next tart adventure will be a breeze!).
Without further ado...
BEST EVER BUTTER TARTS
Never Fail Pastry
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 pound Tenderflake lard (or Crisco Shortening, which is what I used)
2 teaspoons vinegar
1 egg, slightly beaten
2 cups dark brown sugar, packed
2 cups corn syrup
1/2 pound butter
8 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups raisins, washed and rinsed (I don't like raisins so I left them out)
Cut lard (or Crisco) into cubes (about 1 inch) and freeze. Mix together flour, salt, and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor.
After the lard is frozen, add to the food processor. Pulse until the flour mixture is crumbly and resembles small peas.
Combine vinegar and egg in a measuring cup and add enough water to make 1 cup. Add the liquid mixture through the feed tube. Continue until the mixture forms a ball.
Divide into four and form into flat disks. Chill for about 15 minutes. Roll out 1 piece of dough on a floured board until 1/8 inch thick. Cut to the appropriate size and line the tart tins.
Place the lined tart tins in the freezer. You get flakier pastry if you keep it chilled before baking.
Note: I don't have a food processor, so I made the pastry the old fashioned way - with a pastry cutter and elbow grease. I also didn't freeze the cubes of Crisco. I think that's only important if you're using Lard)
Mix the brown sugar, corn syrup, butter and eggs in the food processor (or mixer) until smooth. Add salt and vanilla and mix well.
Place about 9 raisins in each tart shell. Add the syrup mixture until about 3/4 full.
Bake in a 400 degree F. oven for about 15 to 20 minutes or until pastry is golden brown.
Remove from oven and cool slightly before removing from tins. These freeze well. Makes 36 or more medium tarts.
ENJOY!!! And be sure to let me know how they turn out!