Edible Art at Tartistry
For many Canadian bakers, they consider their creations to be a work of edible art. This is especially true for baker Michele Roberts and her team at Tartistry in Etobicoke, ON. The store is a mix of an antique shop, bakery, and jazz club (selected hours) combined. A unique mix of things, for sure.
We have never actually been to the shop. In fact, we first learned of Tartistry on the ‘Butter tart festival” circuit. We have passed by their booth at many festivals over the years but had not purchased them before. That is until this summer, when we were at Ontario’s Best Butter Tart Festival in Midland, ON. When Roguetrippers attend butter tart festivals, we don’t buy a lot (only 6 or 7 dozen – give or take), and we always buy from a ‘new place’ that we have never tried before. Or from a place that is difficult for us to get to for our Butter Tart Quest. So, this year was Tartistry’s day in the sun – so to speak.
We purchased a variety 6 pack of their gorgeous tarts – plain, pecan, lemon curd, blueberry, Nutella, and Almond white chocolate. They have many other flavour options as well.
Many of their tarts are adorned beautifully with a lovely decoration cut out that identifies the flavours, in addition to just being pretty. This is the sort of extra touch that goes a long way to make their tarts more appealing – after all, we eat with our eyes first. They are definitely beautiful to look at.
They are baked in individual disposable tinfoil cups, which really helps to keep everything nicely contained, and preventing damage when you are travelling home from the butter tart festival. This is just a minor fact that many bakers may not have considered.
The pastry in their tarts is very light, sweet, salty, buttery, and flaky. Some of the tarts were a little dark or overbaked, perhaps. The texture is nice and has a very nice flavour. The pastry is a little thin and fragile, which means they can often crumble easily when they are bitten into. They do not use lard or shortening – butter only here.
There is a nice salty taste to the pastry which I have never experienced before in a butter tart. This came as a bit of a surprise, but it was a good surprise. I rather enjoyed that hint of salt to balance the sweet. Plus, it amplified the flavour of the crust, and also made these tarts stand out in the flavour department. They already stand out in the appearance category.
The filling of these pretty little tarts is more of the gelatinous consistency. I do prefer a gooey filling, and there is no real ooze factor here – but this may be because they use only butter. The flavour of the filling is delicious. They have great butter tart flavour without being overly sweet. Definitely a nice flavour and decent texture. It is smooth, creamy, and buttery. The layer of caramelized sugar that drips over the edges during baking creates a nice little candy crunch.
Crust to Filling Ratio
The ratio of filling inside the butter tart shell was excellent. The tart was about 90% full, making every bite of the butter tart fairly even in the taste experience.
These tarts from Tartistry are a wonderful light dessert treat. They are not too big, but the flavour is huge. They would pair nicely with a good cup of tea or a cup of coffee as you sit out on your patio listening to the birds. This is exactly what I am doing as I write this. It’s very comforting.
If you have dietary restrictions, Tartistry bakery offers gluten-free, vegan, and sugar-free options. There are no GMO’s or preservatives (so buy a lot a freeze them). They also offer keto options for cookies. Their sugar-free butter tarts are sweetened with Monk Fruit. They also use 2 types of rice flour and tapioca flour for the crust.
If you are in or visiting Toronto – specifically the Queensway and Kipling Ave area, or if you are headed to a butter tart festival, be sure to check out the edible art from Tartistry. You won’t be disappointed.
And…..their lemon curd tart – while not a butter tart, is phenomenal. Best I have ever had.
Tartistry….. where tarts are just the start
Tartistry is located at:
1252 The Queensway
Toronto, ON M8Z 1S2
Tel. (647) 748-1818
The staff at Tartistry have provided Roguetrippers with some of the photos and information for this article.
If you know of a great bakery making what you think are Ontario’s Best butter tarts, we would love to hear from you. Let us know about them, so we can plan a future road trip to check them out, and include them in our #ButterTartQuest. Contact Roguetrippers with your suggestions.