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DesBarres Manor Inn, Guysborough, Nova Scotia
DesBarres Manor Inn Dining Room

Grandma MacDonald’s “Pork” Pie

Childhood Christmas’ at Innkeeper Audrey Firth’s family home always meant Grandma MacDonald’s “Pork” Pie. Now we all know we do things different here in the Maritimes, so there’s actually no pork and it’s really not a pie, but Audrey is certain the recipe for these shortbread crust date tarts is destined to become a tradition with your family.

Makes 36 tarts


For the Pastry
1 Cup Butter
2 Cups Flour
¼ Cup Icing Sugar
¼ Cup Corn Starch

For the Filling
1 Cup Chopped Dates
2/3 Cup Water
½ Cup Sugar
1 tsp Lemon Juice

To Prepare

For the Pastry
Preheat oven to 375 Deg. F. Cream the butter. Gradually sift in the flour, icing sugar and corn starch and mix together. Smooth the pastry into tart tins and bake until lightly browned. Cool the tart tin on a rack.

For the Filling
Cook the filling ingredients over medium low heat until soft. Add lemon Juice and let cool.

Remove cooled pastry shells from the tin and fill with the cooled filling. Add a dab of Grandma MacDonald’s maple flavored icing just before serving.

Grandma MacDonald’s Maple Icing
Grandma MacDonald’s Maple Icing was a staple on many desserts, but none as popular as the holiday “Pork” Pie. Easy to make and delicious. Enjoy!


1 cup Icing Sugar
1Tbsp Butter Milk to make a smooth paste
1-2 drops Maple Flavouring

To Prepare

Mix butter into the icing sugar. Slowly mix milk into the icing sugar 1 tsp. at a time to bring the mixture to a smooth paste. Add the maple flavouring. Mix in well.

Place a small dollop on each tart before serving.

Store unused icing in air tight container in fridge and ice tarts when serving.

Click here to download a printable version of this recipe.

Proprietor  Glynn Williams

DesBarres Manor, Guysborough, Nova Scotia

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