Local ‘butter tart queen’ wins Ontario title

Helen Moffat named Reserve Butter Tart Champion by Ontario Association of Agricultural Societies

DRAYTON – The Ontario Association of Agricultural Societies has named Helen Moffat this year’s Reserve Butter Tart Champion. 

She’s been making butter tarts for about 60 years, initially learning the craft growing up “on a farm in a fairly large family,” she said.

Now she’s  known as the “butter tart lady,” or the “butter tart queen,” and everywhere she goes, people want her to bring tarts – whether it’s “a meeting, or a dinner or a family affair.”

Moffat has lived in the Drayton area for 53 years and is president of the Alma Women’s Institute. She was named Mapleton’s Senior of the Year in 2019.

No stranger to winning awards for her tarts, she noted the most recent recognition is “kind of descending,” as in 2019 she was Ontario’s Grand Champion rather than the reserve champion. 

She said every agricultural fair has a butter tart class in the baking competition, and “if you win at your local fair you go on to the district. 

“I won at Drayton fair last August,” Moffat explained.

So she went on to the district seven competition in Baden, where her tarts won again. 

Helen Moffat’s 2019 award-winning butter tarts. Submitted photo

“When you win at your district you go on to Toronto,” she noted, to compete for the provincial title. 

So Moffat made another batch of tarts, picked out the best six, and submitted them for the Ontario Association of Agricultural Societies’ annual meeting in February.

She came in second place, winning reserve champion. 

The competition guidelines change annually, she noted; “in 2019 the tarts had to have raisins in them. 

“Well, this time the competition said no raisins, no fruit, no nuts – nothing else, just butter tart filling. 

“You have to do exactly as they say,” she added. “If you don’t they won’t even look at them.”  

Unfortunately, Moffat’s award-winning butter tarts are not available for purchase to members of the general public.