I’ve been obsessing over this lately and I have come to the conclusion that in Toronto, you can’t get a decent butter tart. The options seem to be between supermarket, mass produced monstrosities (with tasteless, bland pastry and gelatinous, corn syrup interiors) and high-end four-dollar works of art.
A butter tart is a homey, simple thing. It should be a little clunky and not too sophisticated. It should offer thick, flaky and buttery pastry, ideally with a consistency close to shortbread. Its interior should be rich, syrupy and in keeping with the name of the tart, buttery! When you bite into the tart, the filling should immediately start to ooze. Acceptable inclusions to the tart’s filling? Pecans or walnuts. Raisins are completely unacceptable. Frankly, if done correctly, than the tart does not need any add-ons.
I’ve looked at some of the old posts about butter tarts in Toronto, and I’ve pretty much been disappointed by most places, though I’ve yet to get to the Hot Oven in Etobicoke. They all seem to lack something. Which brings me to my point. During the summer, I happily visited the Farmers Market at Nathan Phillips Square and bought the tarts made by one of the farmers. These tarts sold 6 for 8 bucks, and hit all my requirements.
Now we’re into November, I can’t rely on this source any more. My sister in law’s recent trip to cottage country brought back the amazing butter tarts made by a small bakery in Haliburton – the Ingoldsby Junction Buttertarts Café. These tarts are, as the kids say, off the hook! Super flaky pastry barely holding back the impending ooze, these fragile babies need to be handled with care or they erupt. They obviously use brown sugar for the filling, and occasionally, a clump of sugar may caramelize with the pastry to form a startlingly delicious new form of candy.
So with the long winter coming, I’m hoping someone can give me a recommendation. Hopefully, some place reachable by TTC?