These beauties look as good as they taste, with a raisin-free option for those of you firmly in the no-raisin camp.
Courtesy of pastry chef Jen Scott, Tofino, B.C.
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In large bowl, mix together flour, granulated sugar and salt. Add butter; using hands, rub butter into flour until mixture is in pea-sized crumbs.
Stirring with fork, gradually add water. Dough should hold together when pressed with fingers; if dough is too dry, add 1 tbsp (15 mL) water until it holds together. Divide dough in half. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
While dough is chilling, in large bowl, stir together brown sugar and butter until well combined. Stir in maple syrup, eggs, cider vinegar and vanilla. Strain; set aside.
Roll dough to ⅛-inch (3 mm) thickness. Cut out 12 to 15 rounds, rerolling scraps as necessary. Press each round into well of muffin tin. Refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes.
Sprinkle each tart shell with 2 tsp (10 mL) raisins or 1 tbsp (15 mL) toasted chopped pecans, if using. Pour filling into shells, leaving ¼-inch (5 mm) headspace.
Bake in 400°F (200°C) oven for 10 minutes. Reduce temperature to 375°F (190°C); bake until pastry is golden, 5 to 8 minutes. (Do not let filling bubble over.) Let cool before removing from tin.