Name an iconic Canadian food, not from Quebec. That excludes tourtière and poutine!
The answer lays in a small, crusty, pastry shell, filled with a magical combination of butter, sugar, eggs, and, for many, raisins. From its humble beginnings in Upper Canada back in the early 1900s, the butter tart has become a proud part of our national heritage. Step aside Mr. Beaver! But, the topic of what makes the perfect tart is not without hot debate among the many self-proclaimed aficionados among us.
Should they be runny or firm? With raisins or plain? Dense or crumbly? Served warm or from the fridge? These questions have raged for years, but the best answer to what makes a great butter tart is personal: “Did you wipe your hands after eating one or lick your fingers clean?”
It is quite possible that the butter tart was hatched at a farmhouse in The Kawarthas or Northumberland. For that reason alone, plot your next getaway to the land of 1000 perfect getaways, and embark on a tour of the region’s best butter tarts. We’ve started the tour in Port Hope and ended in Woodville, but with so many places to choose from, we welcome you to explore to your tart’s content:
- Betty’s Pies and Tarts – Port Hope
- The Pastry Peddler – Millbrook
- Doo Doo’s – Bailieboro
- The Buttertart Factory – Campbellford
- Doohers Bakery – Campbellford
- Swiss Bear Restaurant and Bakery – Apsley
- Country Mart – Buckhorn
- Kawartha Bakery – Lakefield
- Nuttshell Next Door – Lakefield
- Black Honey Desserts – Peterborough
- Pantry Shelf Fine Foods – Lindsay
- Buttertarts ‘N More – Little Britain
- Zehr Farm Fresh Produce and Bakery – Woodville
- The Argyle General Store – Woodville
If unsure about sampling them all, remember those many women from the ‘Titanic’ that waived off the dessert cart.