Valentines certainly came and gone nonetheless the gentlemen delivered. I was shopping at Thomas Haas the other day; it was like a zoo in there. The beloved pastry and chocolate store attracted hundreds of loyal fans all eagerly waiting for mouth watering pastries and beautifully hand made chocolates. Chocolate lovers, husbands, boyfriends etc had already formed a s-like line in the store by the time I arrived. Everyone’s hand had boxes delicately shaped heart chocolates; momentos of love for each other while staff hurried around to fulfill their special day. Smiles were all around and the store smelled like rich chocolate. One whiff and I was drunk this to elixir.
In downtown Vancouver, cold tin empty flower buckets that once housed dozens of gorgeously scently long stemmed roses lined the shelves Someone’s heart was melted that evening when smelling fragrant sweet scent of the deep coloured vibrant red roses. What a special day this was.
To celebrate this special day, I made some tarts. I first started off with the pate sucre recipe. I made the crusts and fill them with 3 different toppings. In comparison to other crusts, pate sucre was quite versatile. The crust had a nice crunch and made a lovely addition to the fillings. The first tart was the lemon meringue tart. I decided to be adventurous and did a yuzu/meyer lemon filling. Yuzu added a zing to the filling and as for the meringue, I chose to make an italian meringue.
The second tart contained a milk and white chocolate ganache while the third tart had a topping of fresh raspberries and pistachios.
Felder was my go to chef when making a pate sucre recipe. I found his recipe was quite crispy and light sweet. The key to his recipe was the icing sugar. Felder substituted granulated sugar with icing sugar which in turn results in a lighter pastry.
Lemond Curd Filling (adapted from Anna Olson)
1 cup sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
1 cup water
6 large egg yolks ( I used 4 large egg yolks)
½ cup fresh lemon juice ( I substituted yuzo and meyer lemon juice)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (I opted out)
I also added 2 teaspoons of lemon zest.
In the end I was quite delighted how the tarts turned out. They were very beautiful and definitely head turners. I think I could just sit there admire them and drool away; but as with anything fresh baked tarts go fast so here comes my fork and tea.
Bon Appetit everyone. Hope everyone enjoyed their special day!!!