The tart of the mat­ter

This month we put the ul­ti­mate Canuck dessert to the test, ply­ing chef Grant van Gameren with a ros­ter of T.O.’s top but­ter tarts. He tells us which pas­try gives him a sugar high — and which 905 tart is his sil­ver medal­list.

Richmond Hill Post - - Taste Test -

CHEF GRANT VAN GAMEREN “I’ve yet to have so many but­ter tarts in front of me,” chef notes, sur­vey­ing the sweet scene. For him, a proper but­ter tart needs a well-baked crust with a filling that strad­dles the line be­tween set and runny.


LEAH’S, 621 ST. CLAIR AVE. W., $2.75 “But­ter tarts are all sugar!” chef ex­claims, not­ing that his sweet tooth means he’ll eat them ’til the cows come home. “This is a very rich, sticky but­ter tart.” It could be slightly less gelati­nous (bring on the mess), but over­all it’s a win­ner. “It’s tasty and the flavours are bang on!”

Tem­per­a­men­tal tart

MA­BEL’S, 1156 QUEEN ST. W., $1.95 “Sug­ars and fats are so tem­per­a­men­tal,” chef notes, “that if you de­vi­ate from them, it changes the flavour pro­file.” Un­for­tu­nately, this tart is a touch over­cooked.

Bites for the booze hound

GRAMMA’S OVEN CAFE & BAKERY, 9325 YONGE ST., UNIT 5, $1.95 Im­pressed by the pas­try’s ap­pear­ance, chef is sur­prised upon bit­ing into the tart: “This one’s boozy!” The touch of al­co­hol ups the ante, and chef’s also im­pressed by the raisins and the con­sis­tency of the filling. It’s a close sil­ver medal­list.

Pas­try per­fec­tion

HARBORD BAKERY, 115 HARBORD ST., $1.95 Though chef didn’t grow up eat­ing but­ter tarts, he does en­joy bak­ing his own, mak­ing him quite fa­mil­iar with the dos and don’ts of the genre. Here, the pas­try im­presses him, but the filling is some­how too sweet, de­spite his love for sugar.

Fab filling

PHIPPS DESSERTS, 1875 LES­LIE ST., #21, $2.50 Right off the bat, van Gameren isn’t wowed by the crust, find­ing it fat and but­ter heavy. How­ever, the “re­ally nice” filling is another story — though the caramel driz­zle is “a lit­tle overkill.”

Cap­i­tal crust

DUFFLET PAS­TRIES, 2638 YONGE ST., $2.50 Van Gameren notes that this but­tery crust is great for the short­bread afi­cionado. Though chef likes his tarts stud­ded with raisins, he finds it a tad raisin-heavy and would’ve pre­ferred a golden raisin for added sweet­ness.

What a flake

OMG BAKED GOOD­NESS, 1561 DUN­DAS ST. W., $3.75 “Here we’ve got more of a puff pas­try thing go­ing on,” chef ob­serves, not­ing that it’s a unique take on the crust. He likes the flavours of the filling but would pre­fer if the tart were a bit smaller and deeper.

A royal ra­tio

THE FLAKY TART, 711 MT. PLEAS­ANT RD., $2.75 Though ini­tially put off by the ex­ces­sive crust on this pick, van Gameren falls for the filling, which is paler in colour than usual (likely due to white sugar). “This one’s nice and runny,” he notes. “The ra­tio of raisins is per­fect, and there’s nice carameliza­tion on the top.”

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