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Aug 26, 2008 01:32 PM

Butter tarts at Flaky Tart -- oh dear

Visited some friends in Michigan this weekend who love butter tarts and can't get them, so I ordered a dozen from Flaky Tart to take to them (6 with raisins, 6 without). We were all a bit surprised at the size of each tart, but as soon as we tried them... omg. Runny, oozy, caramely, buttery goodness flowing out of a generous flaky crust. There was so much decadent filling that I found the best way to eat them was to use a small bowl, break off the edges of the pastry and dunk them into the filling -- I declared it butter tart fondue. We decided that an amazing dessert would be a slightly warmed butter tart overturned onto a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Forget molten chocolate cakes -- this is the only runny filling dessert I want from now on.

My husband has proclaimed them evil and asked me to never bring them into the house again lest he lose his running battle with his waistline.

Flaky Tart
711 Mt Pleasant Rd, Toronto, ON M4S, CA

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  1. Sounds tantalizing. How much are they? And by 'surprised at the size of each tart' do you mean they were bigger, or smaller than expected?

    13 Replies
    1. re: BokChoi

      I think they are $2 each... and they are bigger than other butter tarts I've eaten or made. Consider it a good problem. :)

      1. re: TorontoJo

        I will just have to make my way there then and get my fix. Have not had a good butter tart in ages. Thanks for the tip, TorontoJo.

        1. re: BokChoi

          You're welcome -- just make sure you take one of your great photos of the butter tart and post it so other can see the deliciousness!

          1. re: TorontoJo

            LOL. Thanks TorontoJo. Will do. Hopefully I will get around to it soon. Please do let me know if you find any other great gems around the city. My appetite knows no bounds. Cheers.

            1. re: BokChoi


              So I finally made it out to Flaky Tart and thanks to the comments by peppermint_pate, I decided to call ahead and reserve a couple of tarts, lest they run out by the time I made it there.

              Lo and behold, I arrive just after 3 and find out that the kindly shop keeper that I spoke to on the phone had been batting away other customers from my reserved buttertarts. She had about 2 dozen to start the day, and I guess perhaps from your reviews, and just the word on the street, they were selling quite well. I graciously thanked the shop keeper for keeping them aside for me. She went above the call of duty on that one.

              So I grabbed the two with my name on it, as well as a Niagara Peach Custard Tart because it was just so pretty. Total came out to $8.76.

              Though at first site, I agree with peppermint_pate that there was too much crust, but when I took a bite of the oh-so-sweet filling, I realized that the extra crust was needed in order to counterbalance the sugar from the filling (IMO). The crust on the tart was nice...and flaky (couldn't resist). It wasn't hard and crumbled and flaked nicely when I bit into it. The filling was nice and soft, though not as runny/oozy as I had hoped, but it wasn't as firm and gelatinous as I usually have it, so it was satisfying. Maybe it is because I saved it for after my meal at JKWB to nosh on, and it partially solidified - though from the photos I took of the fresh tarts (around 3) I think show it is a little far from runny.

              I also tried the Niagara Peach Custard Tart. It had a nice custard under the fresh peaches and it was a very light tasting dessert. Not too sweet at all. A touch of spicing on top of the peaches contrasted nicely to bring out the sweetness of the Niagara peaches. Nice shortbread crust - though I am not usually a fan of shortbread crust. Its firmer texture went well alongside the softness of the peach and custard. And did I mention how pretty it was? I am not usually a baked goods kind of person - but these ones would warrant a second helping.

              I would definitely return as the butter tarts were really refreshing - they weren't heavy and dense. I could eat several, though my body would probably hate me for it. Also, I saw another few baked goods that had my name on it - but I was very full that day and had to hold back from purchasing the whole store.

              TorontoJo, have you tried the fresh baked muffins, or the delicious looking Pumpkin and Spice with Cream Cheese filling? I am a sucker for pumpkin, so this was right up my alley.

              Thanks for the rec TorontoJo. I'll be heading 'round again.

              Here are the photos I promised. Hope they are sufficient:

              Butter tart:
              Niagara Peach Tart:
              Turtle Brownie (my own name, I did not get the name earlier):
              Pumpkin Spice Cakelet:
              Blueberry muffin:
              Full-sized Niagara Peach Pie:

              Cheers and Happy Eating!

              1. re: BokChoi

                I've had both their muffins and the pumpkin spice delicacy -- they are both fabulous. The muffins are incredibly light and tender, and filled generously with fruit. The pumpkin spice is lovely. However, it is a bit filling and a sweet, so it should be reserved for special occasions.

                1. re: merlot143

                  Thanks merlot143. Anything else there worth checking out? Their selection seemed a bit limited when I showed up at the end of the day. I am always happy though when a bakery focuses and perfects a few items, instead of being mediocre at a few dozen.

                  1. re: BokChoi

                    You have to go early in the day. The selection is quite spare by the afternoon.
                    I have never had anything bad there. It's all great. The cookies by the bag are pricey, though, and I'm not sure if they're worth it. Otherwise, it's a gem. And the owner is extremely nice too.

                    1. re: merlot143

                      Great, thanks for the tip, merlot143.

                2. re: BokChoi

                  Thanks for the photos! I think your butter tarts may have been baked a couple of minutes longer than usual. I just took another dozen up north this weekend and they were all totally runny. The ones in your photo have a slightly different look to the top of the filling that make me think overbaking was the culprit. Give them another try and see if your next round is runnier. All my friends moaned in pleasure as they ate their oozy tarts.

                  So far, I've tried the english toffee brownies (your turtle brownies), the pumpkin spice cake, the banana raspberry muffins, the gingersnaps, the chocolate chip cookies and the hubby has also had the shortbread cookies w/cranberries.

                  The brownies were wonderful – a nice chewy (not fudgy) brownie topped with a really good caramel and chunks of slightly crunchy toffee. Surprisingly not too sweet.

                  The banana raspberry muffins I had were a day old when I bought them, the store owner seemed almost reluctant to sell them to me (she had told me she was out of muffins when I asked – before I noticed that these day olds were wrapped by the cash register), as she said they really only want to sell freshly baked goods. They were half price, and as far as I was concerned, she could have charged me triple. They were really that good. They had a remarkably light, delicate crumb (the total opposite of the quickbread-style dense muffins), a fresh banana taste and several fresh raspberries baked into each one. I inhaled my first one in the car as I pulled out of the parking lot…

                  The chocolate chip (dark and white chocolate chips) cookies were good, but I prefer my own, which have a crisp edge and chewy interior.

                  The pumpkin spice mini-bundt cake is very sweet, so you need to be in the mood for it. It would probably benefit greatly by being consumed with a cup of tea or coffee. The cake is nice and dense, with a great hit of spice. It’s cut in half and filled with a cream cheese icing and the hole of the bundt cake is filled with a dollop of a bourbon (I think) caramel.

                  My husband loved the shortbread even more than he loved the gingersnaps. He said they were crisp, buttery and tender, and that the chewy bits of dried cranberry really made the cookie for him. Unfortunately, he ate the whole package before I had a chance to try them.

                  The most ridiculous thing? I’ve tried all of these items from a grand total of 2 visits to the bakery. I’m a sucker for good home-style baked goods.

                  The nicest thing about the place? How incredibly kind and accommodating the owner is. I called Friday morning at 10am to reserve a dozen butter tarts for my husband to pick up that morning and asked if she happened to have any without raisins, as I know the ones she bakes for the store usually have them. She said no, but said if I could wait to pick up until 12, she could “sneak a batch into the oven” for me. She was true to her word and my husband picked up 12 piping hot, still liquid butter tarts at noon. He had to drive very carefully to keep the filling from sloshing over the crust!

                  I recommend going early in the day if you can in order to get the full scope of the offerings. While it’s frustrating to want something and have it be unavailable, I do understand and admire the owner’s desire to only sell items baked fresh that day. I imagine that as she figures out the daily demand, she’ll be able to better plan quantities?

                  The peach pie looks great -- I'll have to go get one while peaches are still in season.

                  1. re: TorontoJo

                    Thanks for the update. Don't know when I'll be able to make my way out there again, but you never know. Still hoping to find that 'oozy' butter tart that I have been searching for. Guess it was just an 'off' day.

                    How long have they been in business?


                    1. re: BokChoi

                      they haven't been around for very long. I want to say that they opened earlier this summer ... maybe in June.


      2. It's conceivable that the butter tart and ice cream idea will be realized at my house this weekend. I love the idea and I love butter tarts. No raisins please.


        1 Reply
        1. re: Davwud

          Do report back on the results. BTW, for no raisins, I believe you have to order a day in advance.

        2. Damn you TJ. I'm a nut for runny oozy butter tarts (raisins please!) and I seek them out whenever I can, almost always with disappointing results. Recently tried some from SLM North - crap (actually, the filling wasn't bad but the pastry was thick and stodgy - blech). I was in Gravenhurst and went to the 50 year-old bakery there - crap. The spectre of a butter tart fondue was too much for me to take and so when I found myself in Leaside this afternoon, your thread was foremost in my thoughts and I said to myself - "must have butter tarts". I arrived at Flaky Tart and instantly felt the Pavlovian juices flowing as I inhaled a room full of fresh-baked goodness. I could barely contain my excitement. At first, I didn't see any butter tarts in the case but I thought, surely there must be more out back. She emerged from the kitchen. With eyes full of hope, I sweetly asked "any butter tarts?". She didn't need to answer for I could see the answer in her genuinely sorrowful eyes - "sorry", she quietly said, "we're all out". It seems someone (i.e. some evil ne'er do well who obviously doesn't care if the rest of us suffer by virtue of his/her gluttony) had bought 18 of them earlier in the day. I was crushed. I shuffled out the door and promised to try again tomorrow (assuming I can pick myself back up again).

          Of some consolation was my first trip to Culinarium where I picked up some lovely Ontario strawberries and wild blueberries. Oh yes, and since I was obviously distraught, I also had to have a wee gelato from Il Gelaterie. Great treats, to be sure, but I still want my frickin' butter tart. Here's hoping tomorrow will be a brighter day.

          3 Replies
          1. re: peppermint pate

            My father makes the most amazing butter tarts - they are incredible, and I've never found anything as good as his. He lives in BC, so I don't have them very often (probably a good thing for my waistline), so maybe I'll have to try this place sometime.

            1. re: peppermint pate

              LOL, true tragedy!! Nothing worse than having a craving and then having your hopes dashed. I sincerely hope you get your butter tart fix there soon (call ahead and have them hold one for you). And I doubly sincerely hope that I haven't set you up for disappointment!

              1. re: TorontoJo

                Hi TorontoJo - I tried the butter tarts this week-end and they were very, very good. Friends brought us some Kawartha Dairy Moose Tracks ice cream which we combined with the tarts in a bowl - sitting by the lake eating these messy, runny, sweet delights was the perfect summer treat. A few quibbles - the tarts are a bit too sweet for my liking and I think there's too much crust - if you lopped off the upper edge of the crust, they'd be a much better size. I also found the inside a bit too runny and actually preferred them the next day when the filling had "set" a bit. All that said, they were the best I'd had in a while so thanks for the tip.

            2. +

              Flaky Tart
              711 Mt Pleasant Rd, Toronto, ON M4S, CA

              1. Everyone be loving these things and I was looking forward to them as well, but I'll be the lone dissenter. Waaay too sweet, and completely liquid and runny as you break the shell, so it's not a composed dessert as well, just a lot of crust and a ton of caramel-y soup that just runs everywhere. Can't see how you guys devour two or three of these monsters at a sitting, haha.

                On the other hand, the mini pumpkin pie/tart was awesome, the light creaminess, the delicate flavouring and spice, and the very controlled sweetness level, in start contrast to the butter tart. I'd definitely get that again, and look to grab the pie for occasions. The raspberry muffin was also very good.

                8 Replies
                1. re: Chester Eleganté

                  The last butter tart that I had (last week) was barely runny. Of course, it all depends upon the baking time, so if the batch was left in the oven a little longer, it's going to be less runny, like the one I had. It's a bit if a crap shoot...but a very tasty one. You can usually tell by looking at them, if you know what to look for.

                  1. re: Yongeman

                    I had one the other day. I loved the taste but it was not quite set as others have mentioned. It didn't bother me though. What did was the raisins. Hate those things.

                    Mrs Sippi didn't think it was anything special.


                    1. re: Davwud

                      If you call ahead they'll make them without raisins I hear..


                      1. re: Davwud

                        wontonfm is right -- just call ahead and they will happily make a no-raisin batch for you. The runniness is what I like about them. Sad to hear that they get overbaked sometimes.

                    2. re: Chester Eleganté

                      I'll have to agree with Chester. Way too sweet.

                      I love to bake and I find that many bakers do not add enough salt. I always add salt to balance the sugar - even if the recipe doesn't call for it.

                      I think these butter tarts would definitely benefit from some salt.

                      1. re: chefhound

                        Do you love other butter tarts? I didn't love these either, but mostly for texture reasons (Chester's description is apt). But I had to admit to myself that I'm just not a butter tart lover, and one of the reasons is that they are an over-the-top sweet, not terribly balanced, type of dessert. If I ever make them I will take your suggestion to add some salt because I agree that would be an improvement!
                        The other things I tried here were good but nothing I'm dying to go back for (it is totally out of my way). I didn't mind the prices overall, probably fair for the quality, but I saw these little cello bags of cookies - 3 really quite small oatmeal cookies for $3. I thought that was pretty outrageous as other than the butter, the ingredients for oatmeal cookies are pretty cheap.

                        1. re: julesrules

                          I don't love butter tarts but I do like them, as I generally like most sweets. The texture and size was also a problem for me. I didn't like the runny filling and It was too much tart. I think I'd prefer a smaller tart, less sweet and less runny. I've made them once before and I added salt even though the recipe didn't call for it. And it was definitely better.

                        2. re: chefhound

                          They'd also definitely benefit from way less sugar.