Location: 1285 Elgin Mills Road East, Richmond Hill
Is key lime pie the king of pies? It might be! The contrast between the tart filling, the sweet graham cracker crust, and the creamy topping is absolutely magical when done well. I have a hard time saying no when I see it on a menu.
And La Rocca Creative Kitchen — which serves the type of little pastries that look so nice it’s almost a shame to eat them — makes a really good one.
It’s a little bit untraditional. The typical whipped cream topping is subbed out for creamy Italian meringue, and the crust is made from speculoos cookies instead of graham cracker.
It’s great. Sometimes a key lime pie’s crust can be too substantial or dry, but this had the perfect level of crunch without getting in the way, and the flavour of the speculoos set it apart from the norm.
The dense, creamy Italian meringue might even be better than whipped cream. Certainly, it does a perfect job of balancing out the tart key lime custard.
And the custard was just right — it’s sweet and creamy, with just the right amount of tartness. It’s good stuff.
Address: 3401 Dufferin Street, Toronto
I just got a couple of meat pies from Nadege in Yorkdale — beef bourguignon and chicken basquaise — and they were both fine. they were so middle-of-the-road that I’m having a hard time mustering up the enthusiasm to even write a few words about them, but this is a food blog. It was food. Let’s do this.
They both had the same puff pastry crust, which was light and flaky, if a bit dry. Like everything else about these things, it was fine.
They heated them up for me, but clearly not enough, because they were vaguely hot in some places, and lukewarm in others.
The beef bourguignon had big, tender cubes of beef interspersed with carrot chunks. It wasn’t bad, but nothing about it particularly stood out. There just wasn’t much going on, flavour-wise, and the sauce was nonexistent — it was just dry chunks of beef and carrots.
The chicken basquaise had big chunks of chicken interspersed with pieces of peppers (red and yellow peppers, I think? I ate this just a couple of hours ago and it has already almost completely faded from my memory). Like the other pie, it was a bit bland. It was also entirely sauce-less, and the chunks of chicken were kinda dry. But it was fine.
I know I’ve said “fine” an awful lot, but it’s really the best word to describe these things. By tomorrow they will have both entirely receded from my memory, like they never existed.
Location: 190 University Avenue, Toronto
When the much-anticipated Momofuku opened its doors in Toronto a few months back, it was missing one key piece (in my sugar-addled, dessert-craving mind at least): the Milk Bar, where they serve up cookies, pastries, and perhaps most famously, Crack Pie.
That omission has finally been rectified, with all kinds of treats available in a walk-in closet-sized space on Momofuku’s second floor (all baked, oddly enough, in New York and shipped here on a daily basis).
What’s Crack Pie? it’s basically a sugar pie, or a butter tart without the raisins, or a pecan pie without the pecans. It’s nothing you haven’t had many times before, which makes its moniker a bit of an over-sell; it’s good, but I’m not going to be rushing out to have another one. It’s not quite as addictive as its name implies (and whether a small slice is worth six dollars is up for debate).
I will be back, however, to try some of their cookies, which are much more reasonably priced at two bucks each.
My favourite thing about the Crack Pie is probably the crust. Though the filling is quite tasty, if a bit overly sweet, the crust is pretty great. It’s dense and buttery, with a thin, crispy layer of caramelized sugar on the outside. It’s probably the closest thing to crack-like addictiveness in this pie.