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Tasty tarts are back at Frank's Bakery

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The Bangor shop is making fresh blueberry & raspberry tarts

BANGOR - There is just something about Frank's Bakery that makes even the most self-controlled individual give in to temptation now and then. This time of year, temptation is the shop's famous raspberry tarts.

"This is the earliest we've had them," said Bernadette Gaspar, who has been dubbed Bangor's 'Tart Queen.' "I can usually make 100 or better per gallon [of raspberry sauce], and it takes 12 to 13 pints of raspberries to make a gallon."

But Gaspar, who uses locally-grown berries to make her raspberry tarts, admits each summer her product is at the mercy of local growers and Mother Nature.

"I'm kind of picky who I get my berries from, and unfortunately the people who brought me raspberries in the past aren't having [large] amounts [this year]," she explained.

To make these delicious delicacies Gaspar starts with the shell, which looks like a miniature pie crust. Once that's cooled, it's then topped with a thin layer of cream cheese, then a few whole raspberries, followed by a juicy raspberry sauce mixture that's created with the crushed berries and lots and lots of sugar. Then these edible pieces of art are topped with ooey gooey whipped cream.

"There's one guy who told me, 'I have one every day," said Gaspar, who somehow manages to make it through the summer without even snatching up one for herself.

"I lick off the spoon before I throw it in the wash, but I'm really not a big sweets person. I never was," she explained.

So what is it about these desserts that make them so irresistible to Mainers and tourists alike?

"It must be me," Gaspar joked. "No, really it's people like having local berries and there's just something about this particular berry. We get more requests for raspberry tarts than strawberry or blueberry tarts."

Frank's Bakery is open Monday-Friday 5:30 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturdays 6 a.m.-5 p.m.

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