13 Jul 2011

Hogsmeade Butterbeer Tarts (for 'Harry Potter')

Butterbeer Bottle Labels - available from Sidetracked Artist

This recipe is a fusion of Tudor Buttered Beere and a Canadian favourite, Butter Tarts.

Please note: I am away on holiday and haven't given this version of the recipe a test run, though I recently made a maple version of them for Canada Day with great success. It's basically this recipe for butter tarts from Canadian Living with a few tweaks. I don't think the changes I've made will affect the way they bake.

Tried & Tested: October 2011
As I expected, the recipe works and the hint of ale gives them a depth of flavour that just can't be achieved by substituting root beer. Which is why I'd like to take a moment to make a case for Real Ale:

Depending on which country you live in, your choice of ales may not be as numerous as here in the UK, but I suspect it won't take a whole lot of searching to find one. Ale aficionados have spread their influence far and wide. Now, I know 2 tablespoons doesn't sound like much in a batch of tarts so you may be asking, "Why should I buy a whole bottle if I'm only going to use 2 tablespoons?". My answer is: Because ale isn't expensive and trust me, it makes all the difference. If you're not up to drinking the rest of the bottle straight, you could pour it into a hearty beef stew or whisk it into batter for another British favourite, fish & chips! C. and I enjoyed our bottle with a plate of sausage, mashed potato and onion gravy. How very British.


Hogsmeade Butterbeer Tarts

Makes 12 tarts

Ingredients for the filling:

50g (1/4 c) raisins or currants
pinch ground ginger
pinch ground nutmeg
pinch ground cloves
2 tbsp Real British Ale* - NOT 'beer' as in German or American-style lager
125g (1/2 c) light brown muscovado sugar
125g (1/2 c) golden syrup or corn syrup
1 egg
2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla

*For alcohol free tarts, substitute root beer, sarsaparilla, or dandelion & burdock soda.

Make ahead:
In a bowl toss the raisins or currants in the ground ginger, nutmeg and cloves. Pour in the real ale and leave to soak for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally, so the flavours have time to infuse. Or leave it in the fridge overnight.

Prepare tart cases according to recipe link above (or use pre-made ones) and place in the refrigerator.
Pre-heat oven to 230 C (450 F).
In a bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, golden syrup, egg, butter and vanilla. Take the tart cases out of the refrigerator and divide the raisin mixture between them. Fill the tarts 2/3 full and place in the oven for 12-15 min. They will puff and bubble as they cook but you'll know they're done when the pastry is golden. They should remain slightly gooey in the middle. Let stand for a minute or two before carefully removing them from the pan and transferring to a wire rack.

Recipe, Dessert , Tart, Raisins, Ale


  1. Alan Bartholet25 July 2011 at 20:17

    I like butter tarts but don't care for alcohol. I assume they would still be good without the ale in them, although I guess that would defeat the "butterbeer" part of the recipe. Kinda like rum balls without the rum which would make them... balls... or maybe virgin rum balls. That sounds dirty.

  2. To be fair, it's not a lot of ale and the baking will burn off the alcohol. It would be a much more subtle flavour left behind than the rum in rum balls. You could soak the raisins in Barq's root beer instead - for a bit of 'bite'.


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