Friday, March 14, 2014

Molasses Tart

If you've never experienced a freshly baked Molasses Tart filled with jammed, wild Newfoundland berries, you don't know what you're missing! Hands down one of my all time favourite desserts. I'm not sure where the recipe originated - probably a G.F.S. Cookbook somewhere along the way - all I know is that my mom has been making these tarts for as long as I can remember.

A few weeks back I decided to give the recipe a go, myself. One thing I've learned about family recipes (or at least my family's recipes), is that you must always call the person who gave you the recipe, the first time you attempt to make it - trust me on this! Guaranteed, time and time again, there will be tweaks and adjustments in their head that haven't quite made it to the original recipe you've copied. I can't even begin to tell you the number of times I've prepared one of my mom's recipes only to have it turn out completely different, then discover when chatting after the fact, that I should have...  doubled the sauce portion, halved the dough recipe, left out such and such ingredient, included such and such ingredient (listed nowhere in the recipe), baked for only half the time, or 3/4's of the time, or way longer... all actual examples I've encountered over the past few years. It's laughable at this point, and I know now to give her a call, butttt it can still be frustrating if I forget, or if I can't get ahold of her when I'm making it.

Note: This recipe yields 4 tarts - mom typically halves the recipe and prepares 2, but I prepped the full amount - I'm always wary about having enough crust for double crusted pies, so I figured I would make it all and use the leftovers in my mini cupcake tray to make mini tarts!

  • 1 1/2 cups Butter (room temperature)
  • 4 tbsp hot Water
  • 3/4 cup Molasses
  • 4 cups Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Allspice
  • 1/2 tsp Cloves
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
  • Your favourite Jam! (we used my father-in-law's Partridgeberry-Apple Jam and I whipped up a small batch of Blueberry Jam using the last of our blueberries picked in the Fall)


1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2) In a bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and spices with a whisk.

3) Next cream butter. Add water and continue beating until smooth, then mix in the molasses.

4) Little by little add the flour mixture until incorporated, mixing to the consistency of a pastry. Divide your dough into 4 separate balls.

5) In a buttered or sprayed pie dish, take 2/3rds of a dough ball and spread it around your dish. Because it's such a soft dough, it's nearly impossible to use a rolling pin (but then again, I suck at using rolling pins anyway), so I suggest using the heel of your hand to smooth it out. You can also use your fingers but your hand will leave fewer prints. Once you've layered in the base of your pie crust, add your jam.

6) Next take the remaining 1/3 of dough and roll it with your fingers into long strands to place across the jam layer. Again, the dough is pretty soft, so be delicate with transferring the dough to the pie.
Tip: Start with the longest roll, placing it in the centre, and work out from there.

Wild Blueberry Jam in the front and Wild Patridgeberry-Apple in the back

7) Bake completed pastries at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

And then patiently wait for it to cool before stuffing it in your pie-hole! ;)

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