I am guest posting today for Prerna of Indian Simmer while she is away visiting her family in India. I’m glad she’s enjoying this time with her family after 3 long years of not having been home, and I’m touched that she’s asked me to post on her site in her absence. I first met Prerna when she left a comment on one of my photos on Flickr, it sparked a conversation, we emailed back and forth and we have been friends ever since. With her laid-back nature and her enticing photography, Prerna makes cooking authentic Indian food at home accessible to everyone.
When I first walked into the pastry shop, I didn’t know where to focus my attention. What had lured me in were the colorful rows of delicate macarons displayed in the shop window.
Once inside my eyes darted frantically around the room landing first on the rows of individual chocolates. Countless varieties of creamy ganache-filled squares sat just out of reach behind the glass case. Across from those were the boxed gifts stuffed with tuiles and buttery miniature cookies. Just down from the chocolates were the pastries.
Oh, the pastries! A case full of exquisitely crafted pieces entranced me, and the above was quickly overlooked.
Insatiable. That’s the appropriate word for my appetite when it comes to dessert.
My face lit up, and the wheels started turning in my head. “They all look so amazing. Should I get one? Which one should I try?” Oh the agony of choosing! I quickly reminded myself that it is very possible to overlook gems if your focus is always on the most ornate offerings, so I composed myself and refocused.
Elegant yet understated, it was the simple aesthetic of the lemon tart that caught my attention. But the minimal and straight-forward lemon tart exudes simplicity in its content as well as its form.
While it sounds rather ordinary, a good lemon tart is a brilliant juxtaposition of intensity and delicateness. The pastry crust is sandy and light in texture, yet rich with butter flavor. The bright tartness of the citrus filling is tamed ever so slightly by just the right amount sugar. The creaminess of the sweet-sour filling contrasts in turn with the crumbliness of the cookie-like crust.
Bold and boisterous when it first hits the tongue, the gooey bed of lemon quickly melts and melds with the crunchy bits of crust, the two smoothly rolling around the mouth.
Oh, and that lemon tart I was eyeing… I got it; that, and a few more pastries.
What are some of your favorite pastries?