Location: 755 Queensway East, Mississauga
My first time hearing about La Casa Dolce, an Italian bakery in Mississauga that specializes in desserts, was when I recently saw a photo of the Pumpkin Butter Tart on Instagram.
Obviously, I felt an immediate and overwhelming urge to eat it ASAP. Why? Look at it, that’s why.
Butter tarts are delicious. Pumpkin pies are delicious. Surely when you cram the two desserts together, you must end up with something magical. Right…?
Well, maybe not.
It’s certainly not bad; it’s one of those things that would be very difficult to completely mess up. But the one-note sweet butter tart is nothing special, and it completely overwhelms the comparatively subtle pumpkin pie filling.
The crust is the weakest part — it’s soft, doughy, and bland. The tart is mostly inoffensively tasty, but that crust does its best to bring the whole thing down. It definitely makes me wary to go back and try some of La Casa Dolce’s other baked goods.
Oh, and that stuff on top that looks like cream? It’s actually Cool Whip or something similar. It’s not great.
Location: 1800 Sheppard Avenue East, North York (inside Fairview Mall)
It’s hard to go wrong with a Japanese cheese tart. It’s basically just a little cheesecake, and it’s delicious. If you’re a cheesecake fan, there’s absolutely no reason cheese tarts shouldn’t be in your life.
The version they sell at Pablo might not be the best one I’ve ever had, but it’s pretty darn tasty.
The filling is sweet but not too sweet, with a rich cheesecake flavour. I wish it had been a bit creamier, but it’s quite good.
The crust could have been a bit more crisp, but again, it’s very good: it’s nice and buttery, with an almost shortbread-like flavour. The crispy crust and the creamy cheesecake is a fairly irresistible combo.
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.