Dec. 18, 2019Print | PDF
On Wilfrid Laurier University’s Brantford campus, the name Julie Pong is synonymous with butter tarts.
Pong, a manager of Laurier’s dual Bachelor of Arts and Law degree program, has only brought her homemade butter tarts to the campus’s last two potluck socials, but they have left a lasting impression on the people who were lucky enough to get one.
This excitement got Pong thinking. She and events coordinator Beth Sanders had been looking for a way to spread holiday cheer for a good cause.
On Dec. 3, Pong and Sanders hosted a make-your-own butter tart event to benefit Brant United Way as part of Laurier’s institutional United Way campaign.
The 18 participants spent their lunch hour learning Pong’s not-so-secret recipe, mixing and kneading alongside colleagues from across the campus.
“My mom’s been making this recipe forever, but I’ve only been making them for about five years,” Pong said.
Pong led the demonstration, helping the eager learners make the filling and get the pastry just right. Everyone returned to their work stations with a recipe card and a couple of tarts.
“They are called ‘prize butter tarts,’ and people have always loved them. Mom is known for them, and now I am too,” Pong said with a laugh. “It’s a passing of the torch, and she loved that I was doing this.”
What makes them so special? Pong isn’t sure.
“To be honest, I’ve never eaten a butter tart in my life, so I don't know what makes them so good,” she said.
But the novice bakers quickly answered.
“It’s like the perfect combination of flaky pastry and delicious butter tart filling,” said Nicole Morgan, an academic program assistant.
The event raised $200, bringing the total dollar figure raised for Brant United Way to just over $16,800.
“This type of event defines what the Laurier community is all about,” said participant Melissa Ehrlich, an admissions coordinator. “We come together with colleagues, learn a new skill and give back to the community.”
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