In these tarts, chopped Medjool dates, my favorite for their soft, plump texture and sweetness, take the place of the raisins that occasionally make their way into butter tarts. I hear that whether to include raisins in traditional butter tarts can be a source of deep ideological divide, so for those on the no-raisin side, dates might not be much of an improvement. In which case, feel free to omit! Recipe inspired by Crepes of Wrath and Canadian Living.
These are butter tarts that err on the side of less-gooey — if you like a runnier tart, increase the maple syrup to 6 tbsp and bake the tarts for less time, about 12-13 minutes.
In rolling out the pie crust, I find it easiest to roll the dough out between two pieces of parchment paper dusted with plenty of flour. Although that runs the slight risk of over-flouring, I think it outweighs the hassle of trying to scrape the dough off a surface when I haven’t floured enough. If you find it’s still sticking, though, just throw the whole thing in the freezer for 15 minutes, and the parchment should peel away more easily. (The freezer is my go-to whenever pie dough gets too stressful — just cool the dough down, and it should be easier to handle.)
Also, on dates! If you’re having trouble finding good ones, Nuts.com offers ridiculous quantities that are consistently delicious — I really love their Medjool and Khadrawi dates.