Like all great craftsmen, Frédéric is a master of the simple. Dark chocolate ganache is poured while still warm into these tartlets, completely covering slivers of candied orange and setting to a smooth, mirrored surface — dead plain and stunning to both eye and palate. This recipe makes eight tartlets – a special treat with
Treacle, otherwise known as golden syrup, looks like thick, golden honey and is formed during the refining of sugar. Be sure to get the genuine golden syrup, not the squeezable version which is thinner and has less taste. Grandma’s pastry was made with lard, but shortening or more butter can be substituted in the recipe.
The spiced wine called Ypocras was used in cooking, or drunk on its own as a favorite remedy for illnesses caused by cold humors. The name harks back to the great Greek physician Hippocrates. This recipe for spiced red wine comes from Taillevent, who instructs that the wine be strained several times to ensure it
It was a wise old chef who taught me this recipe, which gives maximum results for minimum effort. You can vary the coffee flavor here by substituting a different alcohol, such as rum or cognac.
These apples are hollowed to the shape of a volcano so they take more stuffing, hence their name in our family. For the filling, I’m calling for muesli as it is so easy to find, but you’ll save a bit of time if you use granola, which is already toasted. Simply mix it with the
You’ll find this batter pudding throughout France under names such as ‘clafoutis’ and ‘flognarde’, adapted to local fruit alcohols and fruits including cherries, apples, plums, and prunes (in the winter). ‘Flognarde’ comes from the Auvergneand and may be made with pears or apples.
Chocolate cherries can’t be kept for more than a day, but they are so tempting there’s little chance they will last that long! You can serve them after dinner or use them to decorate cakes and desserts.
This great summer dessert is a great way to take advantage of all the cherries at the market. Try mixing some blueberries in with the cherries for a 4th of July treat! Don’t be dismayed by the long list of ingredients here as most of them will be in your cupboard. And much of the work is taken away if you have an electric mixer or processor.
Clafoutis comes from the Limousin, a flat agricultural area in the center of France, but versions of this simple pudding can be found all over—in the Auvergne for example it is known as millard, or flognarde when made with pears. Clafoutis is suited to tart fruits such as apples, plums, and most famously cherries. If you follow tradition like me and leave the pits in to add a hint of bitterness, be sure to warn guests before they crack a tooth!
Say melon to a Frenchman and he pictures only one variety—the round Charentais with its pale green skin and juicy, brilliant orange flesh. Beside its intense fragrance, all other melons tend to pale into obscurity, though a cantaloupe can be substituted. An ultra-ripe, fragrant melon is essential for sorbet, as chilling blankets the taste. To highlight the fruitiness, I like to add an equally fragrant sweet wine such as a Muscat de Frontignan from the shores of the Mediterranean, but port is good too.