It’s been two weeks since my last post about my bake-a-long group, so it’s time for another episode of Margaret-Goes-Parisian! In other words, I’ll be writing another post about my adventures baking through Dorie Greenspan’s cookbook, “Baking Chez Moi”. Read along and taste the Parisian flavours vicariously!
The recipe we were making this time was a Pink Grapefruit Tart, a tart that is served at the famous Hugo & Victor patisserie in…you guessed it, Paris. I actually looked up their website and indeed, they do serve this tart. The cost? 30 Euros, or roughly $43 Canadian dollars. (And to think, I was reluctant to buy Campari, one of the ingredients in this recipe.)
At any rate, I came home today after work and started making the tart. Four hours later, I was done. That’s right…FOUR. HOURS. LATER. I’m tired now, and I’m curled up on the sofa with my laptop, Dorie’s cookbook, and some of the little tarts that I made instead of the big tart that the recipe calls for. Because of course I did! I had to change up the recipe, now, come on! I think half the pleasure of cooking is being able to be spontaneous and creative. Also, I had some tartlet pans that I hadn’t used yet, and that were just aching to be filled with pastry and cream.
- I made the sweet tart dough and blind baked it in two little tartlet pans, as well as in a mini muffin pan, to make two medium and 18 little tartlets.
- I made the lemon-almond cream and put it in the fridge to chill. (Except that I didn’t have a lemon, so I used a clementine. I figured it was a tart fruit, so good enough!)
- I made the grapefruit cremeux. (And realized that I didn’t have enough grapefruits, despite walking in the -25 degree cold yesterday to find some. This is why I don’t like how long and involved Dorie’s recipes are. I get so bored that I skim over them to get to gist of the recipe and end up overlooking things. Her recipes are fabulous, but…the instructions are a bit finicky for someone who knows the basics already. I’d rather have more of a summary recipe. But that’s just me!)
- I put the clementine-almond cream in the tarts and baked them.
- I sliced and dried the grapefruit. (I also tried to do the same to a clementine, but have you ever tried to section a clementine? It didn’t turn out. So I turned it into fruit salad for lunch tomorrow. Hey, waste not, want not!)
- I did the dishes.
- Then I put it all together: tartlet shells with clementine-almond cream baked in, topped with grapefruit creameux, over which were laid grapefruit segments in the shape of a pretty rose, and then the whole lot was dusted with icing sugar.
And then I rested. Geez louise, it was tiring! As the hours went on, my internal monologue went something like this: this will be fun!…huh, this is kind of involved…am I done yet?…this is way too much effort…I’m never making this again…ooh, it tastes good!…maybe I’ll make it for special occasions…I should eat another tart, just to examine the flavour….mmm, good flavour, I like!
You know how I said that I made 18 little tartlets? Are you wondering why only 7 are in the photos? Well, as I was working away in the kitchen, the DH came home from work. He walked in the door and said, “You’re baking!” And two tartlets were gone with just the clementine-almond cream baked into the crust. And of course, I had to test them too, so that’s two more gone. After two more hours, the DH came out of his man-cave (his office and the techno-hub of our home, but let’s be realistic, it’s effectively a man-cave) and upon realizing that the dessert wasn’t ready yet, consoled himself with another tartlet or two.
Then when the grapefruit cremeux was ready, I dolloped that on the tartlets and again it was sampling time, so let’s say another two each. And then when I was photographing the whole thing…it was just so tempting! So I had another. And…another. At any rate, between one thing and another, a good dozen tartlets had disappeared before I knew it. Ah, the perils (joys?) of baking!
The verdict: Delicious flavours! Not so impressed with the almond cream, but madly in love with the grapefruit cremeux (I could eat it by itself and indeed I shall, because there are leftovers! Which are mine, all mine!). I think next time I should cut the recipe in half, though. Or start getting up early in the morning to go running. Hahahahaha! Getting up early in the morning to exercise?! That’s a good one! *wipes tears of laughter from eyes* And…cutting the next recipe in half it is.
Next Post: A variation on my hand-held meat pies! But for vegetarians, because that’s how I roll.