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Strawberry Custard Tarts aka Tim Tarts!

Strawberry Custard Tarts aka Tim Tarts! A nostalgic look back at a classic Canadian treat from the 80’s and a recipe to make them at home. Ideal for Canada Day or Valentines Day!

Strawberry Custard Tarts aka Tim Tarts

Strawberry Custard Tarts aka Tim Tarts

Updated Feb 2022 as a Valentine’s Day suggestion too!

Looking for other strawberry recipes? Find 50 fantastic recipes in our Strawberry Festival.

Well, isn’t that a pretty picture? …if I do say so myself. 

I’m not sure if Tim Horton’s still make Strawberry Tim Tarts in all parts of Canada in the spring, but I remember them fondly even though it’s been years since I had one. I happened on the old Tim Tarts commercial from 1980 while surfing YouTube the other day.

I ate more than my share of these tarts when I was a kid and today they served as my inspiration for a homemade version of this very presentable and yummy dessert. No offense to Timmy’s but mine are even better. 😉

This classic Canadian treat from Tim Horton’s may no longer be available at their retail locations but you can make them easily at home.

Fresh strawberries close up photo.

Fresh ripe perfect strawberries.

These are larger than the classic Tim Tarts so if you plan on making them in frozen tart shells, (the kind in the little aluminum foil trays) You should easily get 2 dozen tarts from the amount of custard in this recipe.

Use good quality vanilla extract in in the custard to make it the absolute best. Substitute a the seeds from a small vanilla pod or even vanilla paste for an even more delicious custard.

Strawberry Custard Tarts aka Tim Tarts

Strawberry Custard Tarts aka Tim Tarts

You might also like another classic Canadian tart that’s popular year round but is always at the top of our most popular recipes during the Christmas season. I’m talking of course,  about iconic Classic Canadian Butter Tarts.

The Best Canadian Butter Tarts image with text

Classic Canadian Butter Tarts

Like this Strawberry Tim Tarts recipe?

You’ll find hundreds of other sweet ideas in our Cakes & Pies Category and even more in our Desserts Category.

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Strawberry Custard tarts aka Tim Tarts image with text

Strawberry Custard Tarts aka Tim Tarts

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Strawberry Custard Tarts aka Tim Tarts
Yield: 24 small tarts or 12 large

Strawberry Custard Tarts aka Tim Tarts!

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Strawberry Custard Tarts aka Tim Tarts! A nostalgic look back at a classic Canadian treat from the 80's and a recipe to make them at home. Ideal for Canada Day!


For the pastry

  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup soft butter
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 extra large egg, , lightly beaten

For the Vanilla Custard

  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 slightly beaten extra large egg yolks
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 to 2 tbsp good quality vanilla extract

For the Strawberry Glaze (optional)

  • 1/2 cup strawberry jelly or jam
  • 1 to 2 tbsp water


To prepare the pastry

  1. Cream the butter and sugar well before adding the beaten egg and beating for an additional minute.
  2. Add the flour and salt and mix just until a dough forms.
  3. Separate the dough into two rounds, wrap them in plastic wrap and let them rest in the fridge for about an hour.
  4. Roll out the dough and cut out circles with a large biscuit cutter or something of sufficient size for the tart pans you are using.
  5. Chill the pans in the fridge for about 20 minutes before stabbing several holes in the bottom of each tart pastry with a fork. This is to allow any steam that might form underneath the pastry to escape and not ruin the shape of the tart shells.
  6. Bake in a 400 degree F oven for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack.

To prepare the Vanilla Custard

  1. Scald the milk in the microwave or in a small saucepan on the stovetop. Microwave works best as there is no chance of burning the milk. bring the temperature to just under boiling point.
  2. Meanwhile, in a saucepan combine the flour, sugar and salt.
  3. Over medium flame slowly add about the 1/3 of the scalded milk whisking constantly. Continue to cook over medium heat until mixture begins to slightly thicken.
  4. Add the next 1/3 of the milk until it slightly thickens again,then repeat with the final 1/3 of the scalded milk.
  5. At this point remove from heat and pour about a half cup of this mixture onto the beaten eggs, whisking constantly.
  6. Pour the egg mixture immediately back into the pot, continuing to constantly stir.
  7. Cook for an additional minute or two until pudding consistency and remove from the flame.
  8. Stir in the butter and vanilla extract.
  9. Cool completely in the fridge.

To Construct the Tarts

  1. Place a whole strawberry in the center of each pastry shell.
  2. Transfer the custard to a piping bag or just a Ziploc bag with the corner snipped off.
  3. In a circular motion, starting at the base, pipe the custard all the way around the strawberry to completely conceal it.
  4. Next, place strawberry halves on top of the custard all over the surface of the tart.
  5. At this point, you can brush a little strawberry glaze on the strawberry halves if you like.
  6. To prepare the Strawberry Glaze (optional)
  7. Microwave for about 30 seconds, stir, and brush over the strawberry halves on top of the tarts.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size

1 small tart

Amount Per Serving Calories 200Total Fat 10gSaturated Fat 6gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 62mgSodium 116mgCarbohydrates 24gFiber 0gSugar 13gProtein 4g

The nutritional information provided is automatically calculated by third party software and is meant as a guideline only. Exact accuracy is not guaranteed. For recipes where all ingredients may not be used entirely, such as those with coatings on meats, or with sauces or dressings for example, calorie & nutritional values per serving will likely be somewhat lower than indicated.

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Sunday 30th of June 2019

Delicious, custard and pastry, strawberry season had passed out west, so used fresh blueberries (didn’ t do the glaze), Very good with blueberries Will definitely make again - will try in early June next time. Thanks for another fabulous recipe.

Rosanne Malpage

Thursday 12th of July 2018

Mmmmmm.... loved these back in the day! It's strawberry season here in Ontario so I know what I'm going to make next!!! Thanks for the recipe!


Sunday 25th of March 2018

Can this recipe be used for a large 9" tart pan?

Barry C. Parsons

Tuesday 27th of March 2018

I don't see why not. Let us know how the amounts turn out or if you make more than one tart.

Heather N

Friday 20th of May 2011

Mmm! I remember making these (well, putting them together) when I worked at Timmies when I was in college... They were pretty good :)

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