Buttery Caramel Currant Bars

The quintessential Canadian dessert, butter tarts are the perfect summertime indulgence, although bakers tend to charge a fortune for them and there’s always competition over whose is the best. This long weekend, blow them all out of the water with these easy, decadent bars that put a spin on the classic. For a more traditional homage, omit the caramel drizzle.

Ready In: 1 hour and 20 minutes
Makes about 20 bars.

Base:

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup softened butter

Filling:

3 eggs

½ cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

¼ cup melted butter

1 cup corn syrup

1 tablespoon vinegar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Pinch salt

¹⁄3 cup currants, raisins or pecans

Caramel:

¼ cup sugar

3 tablespoons whipping cream

1 teaspoon corn syrup

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a square 8-inch cake pan and line with parchment paper.

Combine flour, sugar, salt and butter in food processor or by hand until mixture is crumbly. Press into prepared pan. Bake for 15 minutes.

Add eggs to unwashed food processor. Whirl until foamy. Add sugar and flour and pulse to mix. Whirl in butter, corn syrup, vinegar, vanilla and salt. Stir in currants.

Pour into partially baked base and bake for an additional 30 to 40 minutes or until golden brown and firm on top. Cool.

Spread sugar in skillet to make caramel. On high heat, cook sugar, stirring occasionally for 2 to 3 minutes or until it turns a pale golden colour. Remove from heat.

Heat cream in a pot along with corn syrup until hot but not boiling. Slowly stir cream into caramel. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Drizzle caramel over the contents of the cake pan.

Cool and cut into rectangles. Refrigerate until needed. To clean the caramel pan, add water and bring back to boil. The caramel will dissolve.