The Best Butter Tarts in Toronto
The best butter tarts in Toronto are sugary-sweet concoctions that double as national badges of honour. The pastry is one of the only recipes of truly Canadian origin; though its buttery sweetness is vaguely reminiscent of tarte au sucre, pecan pie, shoofly pie or the treacle tart, the butter tart is characteristically 'runnier'.
Each butter tart is made with butter, sugar, syrup and egg baked into a small tart shell until barely firm. However, recipes change from family to family, place to place, with contentious additions of raisins or nuts, or altered entirely to be made gluten-free or vegan. Any way they're made, there's something special about them - like a sudden rush of sugar to the back of your teeth - that signals to you that you've bitten into a Canadian classic, and you know you are home.
Here are the best butter tarts in Toronto.
See also: The best pies in Toronto
Another gluten- and dairy-free butter tart winner can be found at Tori's Bakeshop in the Beach ($2.25). Their crust is made of primarily garbanzo bean flour with some rice and tapioca and xanthan gum, and a filling of cane sugar, maple syrup coconut milk, pecans and currants. You won't believe it's not butter.
It is not surprising that a veritable community institution like Future Bakery - with locations in the Annex and St. Lawrence Market - makes butter tarts ($1.25) the way grandma used to. Their version includes a pale shortbread crust and a gelatinous and sweet butter filling studded with pecans.
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