For the Epiphany

By Mélanie, on Sunday, January 10, 2010

Happy New Year !!

Did you have a nice and well-deserved vacation ? What can I wish for you for the next year? Travels and changes of scenery, a fulfilling job or hobby, of course a lot of learning, sharing fun times with the ones you love? And let’s not forget good food! ;-)

Wow. Now that I think about it, that’s exactly how I ended 2009 and started 2010! Traveling to Normandy wasn’t such a long journey, but it was indeed a change of scenery. The countryside was silent, even more when the snow started falling. The pale green of the meadows lighten by the winter sun was soon replaced by a pure white.

My friends and I had a great time visiting Lisieux and Honfleur. Yes, there was a snowball fight. And we enjoyed meeting the neighbors. I did learn the sheep language, as this one can testify. I’m not so good with horses, but my friend J. seems to master the art, as he even persuaded them to pose pour la photo.

The last thing that I came back with was a new idea for a cake. Pretty rare around these times, isn’t it? I can’t explain why I haven’t been feeling like baking for the last few months, there’s some personal stuff, and I’m not even sure to understand everything, so I have no clue what the future of this blog is. What I know is that as soon as I imagined the recipe, a smile was on my face : I was thinking about sharing it with you.

So yesterday I spent a few hours in the kitchen, and came up with this variation on the Galette des Rois (King cake). This pastry, made with a rich, flaky crust, and a frangipane filling, is traditionally served at Epiphany in North of France and Paris. It is so popular that you will find them in every bakery from the beginning of the year to the end of January (because you won’t eat only one…). A little bean, the “fève”, was traditionally hidden in it, but, since 1870 it has been replaced by porcelain or plastic figurines. This year, some bakeries have hidden a diamond or a Louis d’Or in one of their galette. Even a paper crown is included with the cake to crown the "king" who finds the fève! And to respect the tradition to the letter, the youngest person should place himself under the table and name the recipient of the share which is indicated by the person in charge of the service. All this to ensure a random distribution! We did not do that when I was a child, and I’m not sure the distribution was really random, as my brother and I happened to find the fève pretty often!

As I told you, the Galettes are usually filled with frangipane. Frangipane is a combination of pastry cream (1/3rd) and almond cream (2/3rd). But you know me, what I like even more than nuts, butter, or sugar are… fruits with nuts, butter and sugar! So I used pistachios instead of almonds for the cream, and combined them with cherries. Yummm… Cherries and pistachios… inside a flaky, buttery crust. Can you imagine? Yes, that’s rich, so don’t eat too much of this. Instead, share it on a Sunday afternoon with your family. And don’t forget to send one kid under the table for the distribution!

Galette des Rois with pistachios and cherries
For 6 people

2 9.5-inch discs of puff pastry (made with butter)
1 egg yolk

For the pastry cream
10cl milk
1 egg yolk
½ tsp vanilla
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp cornstarch

For the pistachio cream
1 egg
4 tsp almond flour
3 Tbsp ground pistachios
3 Tbsp + 1 tsp butter, room temperature
¼ cup sugar
25 frozen or canned cherries, pitted

For the pastry cream:
Put the milk and vanilla in a large saucepan over medium heat. Bring to simmer. Turn off the heat.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisks the yolk with sugar. Sift cornstarch into yolk mixture; whisk to blend. Gradually whisk in hot milk. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and make sure the yolks are well mixed with the milk.
Return to saucepan. Whisk constantly over medium heat until pastry cream boils and is very thick, about 10 minutes. Keep the mixture at boil, whisking energetically, for about 3 minutes, then remove the pan from heat and let transfer to a large bowl, covering with a plastic wrap (against the surface, to prevent the formation of a film). Refrigerate the cream.

For the pistachio frangipane:
In the large bowl of your food processor, beat at high speed the eggs, the sugar and the butter until creamy. Add the ground almonds and pistachios, pulse until incorporated.

With a whisk, incorporate the pastry cream to the pistachio cream.

Lay the pistachio frangipane on one of the puff pastry disc, on on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. The cream should be dense, not flowing. Spread the cherries on the cream.
Brush lower disc side with egg yolk and place the second disc on top. Press the sides together so that the frangipane won’t leak. Using a knife, do small cuts on the side (we call this “chiqueter”).
Cut off a small hole in the top disc centre, brush with egg yolk and decorate.

VERY IMPORTANT : Leave the galette in a cool place for at about one hour. I forgot to do that for my first one, and half of the filling ended on my cooking tray…

Preheat oven to 400°F. Bake 10 minutes, then lower oven temperature to 340°F and bake 20 to 30 minutes more.

The Galette taste better when warm.

Galette des Rois pistache griotte
Pour 6 personnes

2 disques de 25cm de pâte feuilletée pur beurre
1 jaune d’œuf battu pour la dorure

Pour la crème patissière
10 cl de lait
¼ de cuillère d’extrait de vanille
10 g de sucre
1 jaune
8g de maïzena

Pour la crème de pistache
1 œuf
50g de beurre à température ambiante
50g de sucre
15g de poudre d’amande
40g de poudre de pistaches
25 griottes denoyautées, en bocal ou surgelées

Pour la crème pâtissière :
Portez le lait et la vanille à ébullition sur feu moyen. Dès que le lait bout, retirez du feu et couvrez.
Dans le bol de votre robot avec la spatule, blanchissez le jaune avec le sucre. Ajoutez ensuite la maïzena en mélangeant bien. Tout en continuant de battre à la vitesse la plus lente, versez doucement le lait. Grattez les parois du bol et remuez pour que le mélange soit bien homogène.
Versez à nouveau la crème dans la casserole et portez à ébullition sur feu doux tout en remuant constamment avec un fouet. Une fois que le mélange bout, continuez à battre pendant environ 3 minutes, afin de rendre la crème plus légère. Retirez du feu et couvrez d’un film plastique (le film doit toucher la crème, pour éviter la formation d’une pellicule) et réservez au frais.

Pour la frangipane pistache :
Dans le bol de votre robot, battez les œufs, le beurre et le sucre jusqu'à ce que le mélange devienne crémeux. Incorporez la poudre d'amande et de pistache.

Ajoutez ensuite la crème pâtissière refroidie avec un fouet. La frangipane ne doit pas être trop coulante.

Déposez un disque de pâte feuilletée sur une plaque à pâtisserie recouverte de papier cuisson.
Disposez la frangipane au milieu, puis répartissez les griottes dessus.
Dorez les bords du disque avec le jaune d’œuf battu, et recouvrez avec le second disque de pâte. Pressez bien les bords ensemble, et chiquetez les en les bords de la pointe d'un couteau d'office.
Percez de la pointe du couteau au centre du disque pour la cheminée.
Dorez à l'œuf battu et décorez avec la pointe du couteau.

TRES IMPORTANT : il faut ensuite laisser la galette une heure au frais. J’ai oublié de le faire pour la première, et la moitié de ma frangipane s’est malicieusement échappée lors de la cuisson…

Préchauffez le four à 200°. Faites cuire 10 minutes, puis baissez la température à 170°C et continuez la cuisson pour 20 à 30 minutes.
La suite, please

Menu for Hope VI : French gourmet delicacies

By Mélanie, on Monday, December 14, 2009

(Pour les non-anglophones, une explication est fournie à la suite de mon message.)

Dear Readers,

This is a very special occasion for me. I know that I have not been very active on this blog lately (well, ok, 4 months is maybe a little more than “lately”), but you’re always there for the subjects closest to my heart.
My last entry was meant to share with you my respect for locally grown, fresh, natural produces, and the hard work of farmers and producers. This helps me to trust food again, and accept that it represents life.

And this is the most important point: yes, food is life. But millions of people in the world don’t have access to the food they need. We can’t let them starve without doing anything.
I’ve felt concerned about this subject ever since I saw this campaign from Action against Hunger in 1998 (their website is there in English, or in French).

So of course, the sixth edition of the Menu for Hope, started by Chez Pim, is a wonderful occasion for everyone, including you, to win a food related prize while feeling good about raising money for a great cause!

Menu for Hope is an annual fund raising campaign that support the UN World Food Programm. As Pim explains, “each December, food bloggers from all over the world join the campaign by offering a delectable array of food-related prizes for the Menu for Hope raffle. Anyone – and that means you too – can buy raffle tickets to bid on these prizes. For every $10 donated, you earn one virtual raffle ticket to bid on a prize of your choice. At the end of the two-week campaign, the raffle tickets are drawn and the results announced on Chez Pim.”
For more details on this fundraiser, please visit Chez Pim .
You can make your (tax-deductible) donation online through FirstGiving. We, bloggers, never touch the money. But we will send to the winners some delicious packages, such as :

A basket full of French Gourmet Delicacies (a 80$ value).
Bid Item Code : EU28

Start your culinary travel in Brittany with hand harvested fleur de sel from Guérande and sea salt toffees, and continue in Burgundy with this 3 kinds of Dijon mustard from Edmond Fallot. In addition to the classical Dijon mustard and the mustard seeds, the tarragon perfumed one will add an unexpected touch of color to your dressing .
You’ll also find a beautiful box of Marco Polo tea from the famous Mariage Frères (yes, the one Blair’s mother brought back from Paris on Monday’s episode of Gossip Girl), along with heart shaped sugars.
And of course, you wouldn’t think of a box without chocolate! You’ll find 3 different kinds of Valrhona dark (Caraïbe and Manjari Orange) and milk chocolate (Jivara pecan) (total 400g), as well as a box of pure cocoa powder. I don’t need to tell you that Valrhona is THE chocolate used by the best pastry chefs in the world. Once you’ll taste them, you’ll know why.

This prize ships worldwide.

I have no doubt you’ll enjoy it. Believe me, the toughest will be to do without them once the packages are finished!

Please go to the Firstgiving Donation Site to bid on this. Last year, Menu for Hope raised about $90,000. Help us do even better this year! You can check David's site to find out the other bid item for the European region.

Thank you so much for your support!

(A little explanation in French, and you’ll find the bidding instructions at the bottom of this post.)

Ce message est une participation à Menu For Hope. C'est une grande campagne de récolte de fond pour le programme alimentaire de l'ONU, pour financer leur projet "Purchase for Progress" (brochure en français).

Pour recueillir un maximum de dons, cette campagne prend la forme d'une grande loterie : tous les ans les bloggeurs culinaires du monde entier se "rassemblent" virtuellement pour offrir des lots à gagner.
Chacun d'entre vous peut participer sous la forme de dons, qui vont permettent d’avoir une chance de gagner un des lots. Chaque don de 10$ (environ 7€) donne une chance. Il suffit de préciser le code du lot qu’on souhaite gagner dans le commentaire du site de donation Firstgiving. Le code de mon lot est EU28.
De toute manière, ce qu'il faut garder à l'esprit, c'est que même si vous ne gagnez pas, ce n'est pas de l'argent perdu : vous avez aidé à lutter contre la faim dans les pays en voie de développement.

Il faut être très clair, nous (bloggeurs) ne touchons rien sur votre participation. Les dons sont récoltés par un organisme contrôlé et sont directement versés à l'ONU. Je n'ai rien à gagner. J'espère juste que mon lot vous plaira et vous incitera à donner. Aidez-nous à dépasser les 90 000$ récoltés l'année dernière.

Alors justement, ce lot.... Cette année, j'offre la possibilité de gagner un coffret composé de plusieurs luxueux produits français :
Un sachet de 250g de fleur de sel de Guérande.
Pour continuer en Bretagne, une boite de caramel au beurre salé
Dijon maintenant, avec trois pots de moutarde Edmont Fallot. Outre la moutarde de Dijon classique et celle avec les graines, vous pourrez varier les plaisirs et surprendre vos invités avec une moutarde verte, parfumée à l'estragon.
Vous trouverez également une boite du thé star de Mariage Frère, le Marco Polo
Pour l'accompagner, ces jolis sucres blancs et roses en forme de cœur (Canasuc)
Et bien sur, du chocolat! Vous pourrez gouter 3 sortes de chocolat Valrhona, le Jivara Pécan (lait), Manjari Orange (noir) et Caraïbe. Le tout à accompagner d'un chocolat chaud à base de Valrhona pur cacao...

Croyez moi, dans tout ca, le plus dur sera de s'en passer une fois les paquets finis! J'espère que vous en profiterez bien...

Bid Item Code : EU28

To Donate and Enter the Menu for Hope Raffle

Here's what you need to do:
1. Choose a bid item or bid items of your choice from our Menu for Hope main bid item list.
2. Go to the donation site at Firstgiving and make a donation.
3. Please specify which bid item you'd like in the 'Personal Message' section in the donation form when confirming your donation. You must write-in how many tickets per bid item, and please use the bid item code.
Each $10 you donate will give you one raffle ticket toward a bid item of your choice. For example, a donation of $50 can be 2 tickets for EU01 and 3 tickets for EU02 - 2xEU01, 3xEU02.
4. If your company matches your charity donation, please check the box and fill in the information so we could claim the corporate match.
5. Please check the box to allow us to see your email address so that we can contact you in case you win. Your email address will not be shared with anyone.

La suite, please

At the market...

By Mélanie, on Monday, November 30, 2009

First, I'd like to thank you for your messages, showing me that you were waiting for me to post again. But I've got to re-adjust. I think I'm in the right direction. Even though I don't have a recipe, I just wanted to share this with you...

Don't you think those vegetables are the most beautiful thing?
I don't mind waiting in line for 30 minutes at Joel Thiebault's stand as I'm in contemplation of his various produces.
So I came back with 3 kind of beets, 4 kinds of carrots, turnips, squash...
Doesn't this red beet look like a mouse?

And I could not resist those flowers. They could brighten up any rainy day!

La suite, please

Summer Fest Part 2 with a clafoutis

By Mélanie, on Monday, August 10, 2009


Today, we are celebrating two events :

- I am happy to announce that the "baby sister" of this blog is created! As I told you, this new blog is not at all about culinary experiences. I've often regretted not to know the city I live in better. So I'm going to visit Paris, take pictures, and every day, photo by photo, you'll be able to visit with me. During the week-ends, it will be more relaxing with beautiful sceneries of the French countryside, that my friend Claire will be sharing with you. The blog's name is Country and the City, and I hope you'll visit regularly. Tell us if you like it!

- Back to the kitchen, and this is the second week of the Summer Fest 2009. This event is "a four-week celebration of fresh-from-the-garden food: recipes, growing tips, even tricks for storing and preserving summer’s best".
The co-creators of this event are : Maragret from A Way to Garden, Matt Armendariz of Mattbites, Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen, and Todd and Diane of White on Rice Couple, with guest appearances from Shauna and Daniel Ahern of Gluten-Free Girl, Simmer Till Done’s Marilyn Pollack Naron, and Paige Smith Orloff of The Sister Project.

This week is (almost was, as, once again, I'm waiting for the last days to finally post these!!)dedicated to stone fruit.


Now, I'm not sure cherries are considered as stone fruits... I've never heard of a "stone fruit" category in France, but they have stone, they are in trees, so I hope it's right... At least there are some peaches in the recipe too.

In our garden, we have had difficulties with stone fruits. I love spring time, when the apricot tree and the cherry tree are blossoming. They have these small pale pink and white flowers, and when the wind blows, it looks like it's snowing. Just for that, it is worth having them. But, as you can see, our cherry tree is not very prolific. The roses climbing in the tree is much more!


Fortunately, our local producer has lots of cherries, including Montmorency cherries, which are more on the sour side than the regular ones. They are perfect to include in this almond clafoutis.


Summer fruit clafoutis
For 4 individual clafoutis

1 pound summer fruits (cherries, apricots, peaches...)
2 eggs
3 Tbsp butter, melted
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup sugar + 2 Tbsp
3 Tbsp flour or cornstarch
1/3 cup almond flour
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Grease the 4 ramekins with butter and sprinkle with a tablespoon sugar. Arrange the fruits inside.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a bowl, mix together the eggs with the sugar and the vanilla extract. Add eggs and butter. Add and mix in half flour, then cream. Add remaining flour and milk. Make sure there are no lump.
Pour on the fruits and bake for 40 minutes. Five minutes before the ending, sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon sugar.
Serve warm or at room temperature.

Clafoutis aux fruits d'été
Pour 4 clafoutis

500g de fruits (cerises, abricots, prunes, pêches)
2 oeufs
35g de beurre fondu
13 cl de lait
13 cl de crème liquide
50g de sucre + 2 cuillères à soupe
20g de farine ou de maizena
60g d'amandes en poudre
1/2 cuillère d'extrait naturel de vanille

Beurrez 4 ramequins et saupoudrez avec une cuillère de sucre. Disposez les fruits dans ces 4 plats.
Préchauffez le four à 180°.
Dans une jatte, fouettez les oeufs avec le sucre et la vanille. Ajoutez les amandes en poudre et le beurre, puis alternez avec la farine, le lait et la crème en mélangeant à chaque fois pour éviter la formation de grumeaux.
Versez cet appareil sur les fruits et faites cuire 40 minutes. Cinq minutes avant la fin de la cuisson, saupoudrez d'une dernière cuillère de sucre.
Servez tiède ou à température ambiante.
La suite, please

Mint & Strawberries in the simplest apparel

By Mélanie, on Tuesday, August 4, 2009


This second recipe is a little late for the summer fest week. We're now talking about stone fruits, so I'm off subject here. But maybe you have a prolific mint like me & my mother do. Or maybe you bought a bunch for a recipe and you're left with a handful of leaves, no knowing what to do next. Well, here I am with the solution!
Ain't I nice?

pâte sucrée
you'd better say yes, have you seen this rolling pin?

This recipe is, once again, very simple to assemble. This is all about summer, and the last thing we want is to spend a whole sunny day inside, cooking... It's time to rest, to go to the beach or to discover the parks of your city. It's also time to enjoy the bright simplicity of fruits. Just a sablée crust and mint will make the sweet flavors of ripe strawberries stand out. There's no need for cream. No, I said no pastry cream. No whipped cream. Don't insist. I had doubts too. Then I tasted it. No doubts anymore. You can do it.


About the tart crust : this is the fourth recipe on my blog. Whatever the recipe, please make it yourself and don't use a store-bought one. It's really easy, there's no reason to be afraid. Don't hesitate to put a lot of flour on your kitchen counter before rolling it. And if it breaks, it ok, just press it together in your pie form. There is NO comparaison between a store-bought crust and a homemade...


Strawberry and mint tart

For the sugar crust
1 egg
1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 cup flour
1 stick butter
1 pinch salt

For the tart
1 1/2 pound strawberries
15 mint leaves
2 Tbsp currant jelly

First mix sugar, flour, salt and the butter for a few seconds. Mix in the egg and, with your hand palm, press the dough about 3 times, just until it forms a ball that holds together. Flatten into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.
Preheat oven to 340°F.
Roll out dough into a on a floured surface with a floured rolling pin. Delicately fold the rolled dough in 4, to lift it easily, and unfold in the tart form. Prick bottoms all over with a fork and bake 15 minutes.

Once the crust cooled, arrange diced strawberries on top, in a concentric form.
In a small saucepan, heat the jelly with 1 Tbps water until liquid. Brush the strawberries with the jelly.
Slice thinly the mint leaves, and sprinkle over the pie.

Tarte aux fraises et à la menthe

Pour la pâte sucrée
1 oeuf
100g de beurre
200g de farine
80g de sucre
1 pincée de sel

Pour la tarte
700g de fraises
2 cuillères à soupe de gelée de groseilles
une quinzaine de feuilles de menthe

Mélangez quelques secondes le sucre, la farine, le sel et le beurre, le temps de former une pâte grumeleuse. Incorporez l'œuf. Fraisez (c’est l’action de travailler avec la paume de la main) rapidement et formez 1 boule de pâte. Aplatissez et enveloppez ce disque dans un film plastique pour reposer au frais pendant au moins 1 heures.
Préchauffez le four à 170°.
Farinez abondamment le plan de travail ainsi que le rouleau à pâtisserie, puis étalez la pâte sur 2 à 3 mm d'épaisseur. Pliez délicatement la pate en 4 pour la soulever plus facilement et depliez là dans le moule à tarte. Mettez à cuire 15 minutes.

Une fois le fond de tarte refroidi, arrangez les fraises coupées en lamelles de manière concentrique.
Dans une petite casserole, faites fondre la gelée avec un peu d'eau, et appliquez ce nappage sur les fraises.
Emincez finement la menthe, et disposez la sur la tarte.

La suite, please

Last call for summer fest

By Mélanie, on Monday, August 3, 2009


You know this feeling, when you're rushing through the airport, running and hoping you'll get in time before the plane takes off? The adrenaline is pumping, but deep down you know that you can make it, that, no matter how tired you are, it's going to be alright. You won't give up.
Well, that exactly how I feel right now. It's 2 a.m. in Paris and I want to post this recipe before the end of the day (US time. no, it's not cheating). To my regret, I have not participated to a lot of blog events (one, actually), but when I saw that Todd and Diane, of White on Rice Couple, collaborated to the Summer Fest 2009, I knew I wanted to be part of this.

geranium petit

This event is "a four-week celebration of fresh-from-the-garden food: recipes, growing tips, even tricks for storing and preserving summer’s best". Some people may think that they are not concerned because they live in an apartment. But if you have even a windowsill, you can have some fresh aromatic herbs at home.


Because I grew up in a house with a garden, filled with stone fruits trees (apricots, peaches, cherries), berries, tomatoes, zucchini, and herbs (and LOTS of flowers...), this is something I really missed when moving to Paris.
Fortunately, I have now a balcony, and my first plantation was for a little corner of kitchen delights : rosemary, thyme, basil, etc...


But the easiest herb to grow is mint. It's almost like weeds, appearing in every corner of my jardinière. If you don't want this, you should plant it in a separate part. I don't mind though, because i really enjoy its fresh and peppery flavor during the summer. It will make a huge difference in a simple fruit salad, but really, when it's hot outside, you can just add it to anything!
I'm going to post a few (and sooo easy) recipes with mint to give you some ideas... There was the strawberry and watermelon smoothie.
This is a chilled cucumber soup, perfect as an appetizer, with some friends on a warm evening.


Chilled mint and cucumber soup with shrimps
For 4 appetizers

1 large cucumber
1 yogurt or 1/2 cup buttermilk
10 mint leaves, washed
1 teaspoon salt
12 shrimps, cooked

In a blender purée cucumber and mint with buttermilk and salt until smooth (I start with one third of the cucumber and all the buttermilk, and then I add gradually the rest, so that the cucumber doesn't get stuck in my blender). Keep in refrigerator. Before serving, add 3 shrimps in each bowl.
Served chilled.

Soupe froide de concombre à la menthe
Pour 4 entrées

1 concombre
1 yaourt brassé
10 feuilles de menthe, lavées
1 large pincée de sel
12 crevettes cuites

Réduisez le concombre, la menthe, le sel et le yaourt en purée dans votre blender / mixeur (je commencer toujours par hacher 1/3 du concombre avant d'ajouter le reste, sinon tout se coince entre les lames du robot). Gardez au réfrigerateur.
Avant de servir, ajoutez 3 crevettes dans chaque bol.
Servez bien froid.

La suite, please

One year! and a Raspberry tart to celebrate

By Mélanie, on Saturday, July 25, 2009


One year ago, I started this blog. Like for a baby, this first year was mainly about learning. I needed understand about how to write, about the importance of plating and composing, about CSS (still not great!!), etc...

Even though I have still so much room to improve, I feel there has been some progress. I have enrolled in photoshop classes. I've discovered RSS feeds. I now know how to change the blog layout. I pay much more attention to the light in my photography. I've become familiar with new cooking techniques. I've even sewed a tablecloth (and learned how not to show the twisted hem in picture ;-)


I am happy I had the occasion to learn all of this. And I'm very excited about the future steps! One of them is the blog remodeling, and I wished I had finished it today. I did try, but, boy, am I slow when it comes to "!-- #.a hover@ dd: exp }". Do this looks like swears words to you too?

However, I have one big news. I'm glad to announce that this blog is going to have a baby sister. It's due for this summer. I'm still thinking about names... There's going to be much less talking. No food. But a lot more to see. Can't wait!


For this occasion, I want to share with you a special treat, the quintessence of this blog. It represents everything I love in a dessert. It's not too sweet, got plenty of fruits in it, their flavors brightened up by the almonds. This simple tart captures the summer mood.

The gorgeous raspberries are so fresh that it feels like sunshine in your mouth. Their acidity is partialy offset by the rich almond cream, which is layered over a sablée crust. Now do you really wonder why this has always been one of my favorite dessert? I thought I was the only one, but the number of "second"-servings proves me wrong! Although you can find it in almost any bakery in France, I had never prepared one myself. What a better time than a first year anniversary for this?


Almond and Raspberry Tart

1 sablée tart shell
2/3 stick butter
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
12 oz. raspberries
6 oz. mixed berries (whatever you have)
5 teaspoons sugar
1/2 sheet (1/2 teaspoon) gelatin

For the sablée tart shell, you can use one of these recipe :
- From J. Robuchon, my favorite, the one that has been used in my family for years. It's a little bit more difficult, sticky and has to be rolled thinly (because there is not so much dough). However, once you'll taste it, you'll forget the difficulties.
- From S. Glacier, easier, and tasty enough to compete with the one from Joel Robuchon. But be careful, there's a lot of dough, so it will be enough for a tart + 1 or 2 tartlets.
- The sugar pie crust from P. Hermé. Yields 3 tart shells, so you can freeze 2 and have it ready for another time.

Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.
Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface with a floured rolling pin into a 12-inch round.
Slide bottom of tart pan (separate from rim) under dough and set into rim of tart pan. Cut off excess dough, leaving 1/2-inch overhang, and fold overhang inward. Press dough against side of pan, pushing dough 1/4 inch above rim. Lightly prick bottom of shell all over with a fork and chill until firm, 10 to 15 minutes.
Bake until side is set and edge is pale golden, about 12 minutes.

During that time, prepare the almond cream. Mix together sugar, almond flour and butter. Beat in the eggs.
Pour into the par-baked shell and bake 20 more minutes.
Let cool.

Arrange raspberries over the cooled pie.

In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the water, and let it sit.
Put remaining berries and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat until cooked (about 5 minutes). Puree with a fork or in your blender. Pass through a sieve to keep only the juice and mix with gelatin while it's still warm.
Pour over the raspberry tart.

You can decorate with confectioner sugar and mixed berries.

Tarte amandine aux framboises

1 fond de tarte en pâte sablée
70g de beurre à température ambiante
110g de poudre d'amande
90g de sucre
2 oeufs
350g de framboises
170g de fruits rouges (framboises et/ou cassis, groseilles...)
20g de sucre
1/2 feuille de gélatine

Pour la pâte sablée, vous pouvez utiliser une des trois recettes suivantes
- Celle de J. Robuchon, ma préférée, mais la plus difficile à travailler. Elle est fragile et la quantité correspond à un fond de tarte de 24cm, il faut donc l'étaler finement (donc plus de risques de la casser). Ces difficultés sont vite oubliées dès qu'on la goûte.
- Celle de S. Glacier, que j'utilise aussi depuis un an. Elle est tout de même assez bonne pour faire de la concurrence à celle de Joel Robuchon! La quantité n'est pas très pratique, elle correspond à 1 tarte + 1 ou 2 tartelettes...
- Celle de P. Hermé. Il s'agit en fait d'une pâte sucrée. L'avantage est qu'elle correspond à 3 fonds de tarte, vous pouvez donc en congeler 2 et les avoir prêts pour un autre jour.

Préchauffez le four à 180°.

Etalez le disque de pâte en un cercle légèrement plus grand que votre moule à tarte, sur une épaisseur de 2-3 mm. Garnissez votre moule (beurré et fariné) avec la pâte et faites la pré-cuire 12 minutes au four.

Pendant ce temps, préparez la crème amandine :
Dans le bol de votre robot, mélangez le sucre et la poudre d'amande, puis le beurre en morceaux. Incorporez ensuite les oeufs.
Versez l'appareil sur le fond de tarte pré-cuit et enfournez pour 20 minutes.
Laissez refroidir à température ambiante.

Disposez les 350g de framboises sur la tarte.

Faites tremper la demi-feuille de gélatine dans de l'eau froide.
Dans une petite casserole, faites chauffer à feu moyen les fruits rouges avec le sucre pendant environ 5 minutes. Ecrasez-les avec une fourchette ou dans un hachoir, et passez-les à travers un chinois pour ne garder que le jus.
Mélangez le jus avec la gélatine essorée, et versez ce coulis sur les framboises.

Décorez avec du sucre glace et des fruits rouges.
La suite, please