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Misty Queensland Mountains and Cranberry Currant Butter Tarts

“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people
are beginning to find out going to the mountains is going home;
that wilderness is a necessity…”
John Muir

My heart is always happiest in the country, close to the ocean and close to the mountains.

In Canada and Washington State I got to live near the Pacific Ocean and the Rocky Mountains.

Now I’m so happy to live in Queensland, Australia, still close to the Pacific Ocean (the warm part) and only a short drive away from the beautiful Great Dividing Range.

I love driving through here any time of year, but especially on rainy summer mornings when the peaks of Mount Cordeaux and Mount Mitchell are swathed with fog and wrapped in mist.

I like pulling over and trekking through the grass to feel the wind on my face and listen to the bell birds singing their tinkly songs in the gum trees.

After beautiful drives like this, it’s nice to return home, especially when there are Cranberry Currant Butter Tarts waiting, ready to be taken out to the back porch and eaten alongside a cup of strong Earl Grey Tea while we watch the sun set over our farm.

Since Christmas in Australia happens in summer, there’s no way I want to swelter over a hot turkey dinner with all the fixings. This year I made double-smoked ham sandwiches to accompany a big platter of tarts.

Normally these beauties are filled with plump raisins, but I made our Christmas Butter Tarts with dried cranberries and tiny dried black currants instead. I like them so much I may never go back to the originals.

Do you have a dessert makes your holiday complete?

Cranberry Currant Butter Tarts Recipe

Ingredients:

1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 dried currants
hot water
1/2 recipe of Julia Child’s Flaky Pie Dough
1/4 cup softened butter
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 pinch salt
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

  1. Place cranberries and currants in small bowl. Cover with hot water and let sit 20-30 minutes. Drain.
  2. Lightly spray bottoms and sides of muffin tin.
  3. Pinch off pieces of pie dough and press firmly and evenly into each muffin mold, making sure dough comes up to the top.
  4. Place in refrigerator until ready to use.
  5. In medium bowl add butter, sugar, salt and corn syrup. Mix well until creamy.
  6. Add eggs and vanilla and mix thoroughly.
  7. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  8. Remove tart shells from refrigerator and divide cranberry/currant mixture evenly in the bottom of each tart shell.
  9. Using a large spoon, ladle butter/sugar mixture evenly into each tart shell.
  10. Place muffin trays in oven and bake 15 minutes if you like your butter tarts runny, 20 minutes if you like them firm.
  11. Remove from oven and let cool before removing from pan.
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Krista - How lucky you are, @budgetjan:disqus ! 🙂 I’m so glad that your location makes you so happy. 🙂 I LOVE the Rocky Mountains too. That’s where I grew up. 🙂 I will email you a picture of the plate so you can Pin it. 🙂

budgetjan - The country is looking great down your way. I live near the ocean and love it. There are mountains not far away either. I loved the Rocky Mountains in Canada more than any other place I have been (well I say that about Luang Prabang too). The plate that your tart is on is gorgeous, I tried to Pin It, but it did not work. Where is it from?

Krista - I have only ever read about kugel, @bcdeb9873aa58892d29aa565c71353f5:disqus , but I’ve never eaten it!! I’m going to try it soon. 🙂

Krista - Thank you, @wanderingsheila:disqus 🙂 I love our beautiful country. 🙂

Hila - Sounds absolutely mouthwatering! My biggest treat to myself is making kugel – it just reminds me of home.

Happy New Year Krista! I hope this year is kind to us both.

Cathy - Yum Krista. I love your bush based photos – what beautiful Australian countryside 🙂

Krista - Isn’t it so so beautiful?! I got this one at a medieval festival but I just saw some in a shop in town as well. I will see if I can find if there’s an online source for you. 🙂

Marie - Okay, that plate is the prettiest thing EVER! You must tell where I can find one. Please?

Krista - Thank you, @twitter-82747769:disqus 🙂 They are my favorite Christmas treat. 🙂 Happy New Year! 🙂

Krista - I’m so glad you don’t have to choose between the two, @twitter-91303570:disqus 🙂 We are SO lucky to be close to both things that we love. Happy New Year! 🙂

Krista - Thank you, dear Velva. 🙂 Your encouragement means a great deal. 🙂 So glad we BOTH get sunshiny Christmases! Happy New Year! 🙂

Lindsay Hogg - mmmm that tart looks amazing!

Kate Bailward - I always used to think that I was a mountain girl, pure and simple, but living by the sea in Sicily may have confused matters. Happily, like you, I’m not far from either. In autumn and winter there’s nothing better than heading to the hills for delicious food and wine sagre, and then in the summer it’s all hands to the beach. Blissful.

May 2013 bring you many happinesses and butter tarts. xx

Velva-Tomatoes on the Vine - Krista, you have come so far from where you started. You are on the other side of the world from where you began(at least from where I started following your journey).
Since I live in Florida it feels like Christmas is being celebrated in the summer here too (smile). The tarts look delightful.

Wishing you a most fabulous 2013.

Velva

Krista - Aren’t they the BEST little morsels, Val?! 🙂 I’m so happy you love them as much as I do. 🙂

bellini - Buttertarts just make me smile. You know how many miles I would drive for a great butter tart!!!! Of course there was always plenty to see in-between on that drive that would make me smile too,

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