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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Like this Strawberry Tim Tarts recipe?
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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
- Cream the butter and sugar well before adding the beaten egg and beating for an additional minute.
- Add the flour and salt and mix just until a dough forms.
- Separate the dough into two rounds, wrap them in plastic wrap and let them rest in the fridge for about an hour.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- Meanwhile, in a saucepan combine the flour, sugar and salt.
- 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.
- Add the next 1/3 of the milk until it slightly thickens again,then repeat with the final 1/3 of the scalded milk.
- At this point remove from heat and pour about a half cup of this mixture onto the beaten eggs, whisking constantly.
- Pour the egg mixture immediately back into the pot, continuing to constantly stir.
- Cook for an additional minute or two until pudding consistency and remove from the flame.
- Stir in the butter and vanilla extract.
- Cool completely in the fridge.
To Construct the Tarts
- Place a whole strawberry in the center of each pastry shell.
- Transfer the custard to a piping bag or just a Ziploc bag with the corner snipped off.
- In a circular motion, starting at the base, pipe the custard all the way around the strawberry to completely conceal it.
- Next, place strawberry halves on top of the custard all over the surface of the tart.
- At this point, you can brush a little strawberry glaze on the strawberry halves if you like.
- To prepare the Strawberry Glaze (optional)
- Microwave for about 30 seconds, stir, and brush over the strawberry halves on top of the tarts.
Serving Size1 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.