Butter Tart? You mean, Pecan Pie?

For several months, I was craving and searching for butter tarts at local Silicon Valley bakery departments and pastry shops. Butter tarts bring back great fond childhood memories. I had my first butter tart from a bakery just around the corner from our home in Edmonton, and to this day, it’s been my version of a perfect butter tart.


Butter tarts consist of butter, sugar, syrup and egg filled into a flaky pastry, and baked until its filling is semi-solid with a crunchy top. Variations include adding pecans and/or raisins to the filling. My favourite are butter pecan tarts. In one bite, you’ll get the slight crisp of the golden topping, roasted pecans breaking into the custard-like sweet filling, and finally hear the nice crunch of the tart shell breaking. Pure goodness.

After numerous butter tart search parties, I started noticing similar looking desserts in Silicon Valley. Pies labeled as pecan pie that looked like a giant butter pecan tart, or a butter pecan tart PIE. Turns out butter tarts and pecan pies are twins! Not identical, but close. Butter tarts tend to have a runnier filling than pecan pies, which add cornstarch for a firmer filling.

Butter tarts are iconic desserts during Canadian Thanksgiving and Christmas. Pecan pies are an equally iconic during American Thanksgiving and Christmas.

So happy to have finally discovered the shared North American love for butter tart/pecan pie, and just in time for both Thanksgiving celebrations too. This year, Thanksgiving up north in Canada will land on Monday Oct. 13th whereas it’ll arrive a month later on Thursday Nov. 27th in the States.

Happy Thanksgiving!

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. — John Fitzgerald Kennedy

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Related articles:
  •   Wikipedia: Butter Tart
  •   Wikipedia: Pecan Pie
  •   Wikipedia: Canadian & U.S. Statutory Holidays
  •   Silicon Valley Loonies: Stressed? … Desserts Time!
  •   Silicon Valley Loonies: Sweet Tooth

2 responses to “Butter Tart? You mean, Pecan Pie?

  1. I found your post from last year looking for crusts for butter tarts and thought I would check out your blog since I am also from Canada. What are the odds that you are also from Edmonton?!? I love this. I love talking to Canadians in California. My husband (he is a californian born and raised) still laughs about Edmonton Rush hour traffic. Lol

    • Thanks so much for your comments and following, Maggie! It’s exciting to find a fellow transplant from Edmonton to California. I’m not sure when you visited Edmonton last, but Edmonton has really expanded in the south-side. Rush hour traffic hasn’t improved or gotten worse 😛

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