Bardolatry: the love of Shakespeare

Okay, so that definition refers to the love of William Shakespeare – “the Bard of Avon”, and not the cute little town in South Western Ontario. However, the little ‘Hamlet’ that bears his name also deserves your love.

About Shakespeare

Shakespeare, Ontario is located just 10 minutes east of Stratford,-a town known for its live theatre, most notably (but not exclusively) Shakespearean plays (and the birthplace of Justin Bieber). It is a stop on the way for many people who are attending the Stratford Festival, or just on a road trip through Perth County, west of Kitchener/Waterloo.

Read more about our adventures in Perth County

While it is a tiny town, it has quite a reputation for its unique charm, shops, and artisan food. If you love to go antique-ing, you will definitely want to visit Shakespeare. In fact, the village’s motto is “where antique and unique meet”. Here, you will find fantastic antique stores, craft breweries, wonderful restaurants, and our favourite shop: Shakespeare Pies.

Shakespeare Pies

Shakespeare Pies is a small, family-owned business that is steeped in rich Mennonite heritage. All of their baked goods are made from scratch, with recipes developed by their mother. Every baked item in stock is made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients and handcrafted with love – and quality ingredients and techniques. They have many delicious baked goods for you to try, including bread, meat pies, meals-to-go, and fruit pies – which is where it all began. Of course, the reason for this post – our butter tart quest.

The butter tarts at Shakespeare Pies come in a variety of flavours: plain, raisin, pecan, walnut, and coconut. We purchased all of the flavours, including the lemon, because – who doesn’t love a lemon tart?

The best pies and tarts in Shakespeare, Ontario

Crust

The pastry is very light, tender, and flaky. It is perfectly baked to a very light, even consistency. There is no uneven baking here. The crust does not have the greasy or oily taste and texture that I sometimes find with lard-based crusts, leading me to believe they are lard-free.
The pastry has an appropriate thickness and is perfect for holding in the filling without overpowering the overall taste experience.

Filling

The filling of these butter tarts is sheer buttery heaven. It is smooth, creamy, buttery, and gooey decadence. It has the right consistency and ooze factor that I am looking for. There is not so much oozing that it drips down your arm and makes a mess, but just enough that it has a lovely soft flow. The taste is fantastic, with delicious flavours and the right amount of sweetness.

Overall Experience

The Crust to filling ratio is on point – you get just enough crust in every bite, without it being too much. The crust is beautifully baked and moist. The filling is buttery smooth and sweet. It has that decadent gooeyness that I enjoy, and there is a delightful crystallized sugary nugget on the bottom the butter tart, which I love (1 bonus point).
This is a classic butter tart that is sure to please. It is a fantastic butter tart-eating experience and welcome addition to our #buttertartquest.

So, the next time you are on your way to the Stratford Festival or just on a little day trip through South Western Ontario, visit Shakespeare Pies. I recommend bringing a good cooler bag so you can bring home many of their delicious quality baked goods for yourself. You will see the difference in quality, fresh and local ingredients, and good old-fashioned baking techniques can make.

Those in the know come to the Town of Shakespeare for all of their pie needs. Seasonal fruit offerings like cherry, peach, blueberry, and apple are always a hit. During the Thanksgiving and Christmas period – you will want to make the drive for their delicious pumpkin pies. and during Strawberry season – their fresh strawberry pies should be pre-ordered to avoid disappointment.  Our favourite – KEY LIME is to die for. The sheer weightiness and size of their pies are impressive.

The final line of their company mission statement:

12. Excellence
  • Good enough isn’t. We always deliver products and services of exceptional quality. We consistently give more than is expected and go the extra mile. We regularly look for ways to provide more with less and stay on a path of constant improvement and innovation.

I could not agree more.

You can find Shakespeare Pies at
2264 Line 34 Shakespeare, ON N0B 2P0
Phone: (519) 625 1286

 

You can check out their feature on the “In Your Back Yard” segment of CTV NEWS Kitchener, which aired May 29th, 2019.

Author

Adventurer, gastro-tourist, avid road tripper, and butter tart aficionado. Exploring the road less travelled and the adventures that exist for all to see if you open yourself up to new possibilities. Greg and his husband Nick are residents of Guelph, and their greatest joys in life are exploring the world around them. Road trips with no real destination are a favourite past time. Get off the beaten path and discover somewhere they have never been before. Sometimes the best vacations are the ones you don't really plan. Life is about the journey together and not the destination.

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