Friday, October 06, 2006

Tartelette Citron Géométrie

Tartelette au Citron, 12" x 16" Aquarelle

Nostalgia and fond memories have much to do with our food choices. As I kid, I refused to eat birthday cake. My mother, after tearing her hair out, came up with the substitute of Lemon Meringue pie. Now I can't resist anything lemony and it was a natural that my first favorite Paris dessert should be a tarte au citron.

Be sure and ask for une tartelette au citron if you want to avoid the "tsk tsks" in the patisserie and more embarrassment than the average daily romp around Paris will provide you.

Pierre Hermé, normally the king of classic pastry géométrie , in this case over-decorates his Tarte Citron au Citron surface. The TRUE tarte citron should be a clean, flat circle of lemony unctuousness, so I resisted the temptation, which may have been a mistake...
Here's another sacrilege to the tarte citron at arnaud Del Mon Tel in the 9th. As far as I'm concerned it's incorrect to bow the surface of the tart or put stuff on it or in any way mar it's glassy smoothness. Do we really need to see a bit of lemon zest to identify these beauties?

Le Pain Quotidien can get away with it in this case. Just a slight hint of excessiveness here...

Now here is perfection in Gérard Mulot's example. A nice smooth, flat, lake of a tart and so delicious I forgot to paint it. I dived straight in - there may well be a whole jar of lemon curd in this baby...Only in Paris would you see a citron-colored patisserie.
Fridays are turning into Paris patisserie day here at PB.. In slightly over 2 weeks I'll take off in that direction and I'm getting myself ready for the glories that await me...


  1. The raseberry on top of the citron tartlette, and your "excessive," note made me laugh!
    You make reading blogs a feast for the eyes, I dare say it is like walking in Paris, licking the windows...(as they say here in France about "window shopping!")
    The painting on top is perfection, did you whip that up this morning???

  2. What a delicious blog: I mean both the watercolours and their mouthwatering subjects.
    I have just added a link to your blog in my own, called Acuarela.
    You do very nice work.

  3. Fabulous posting I wasn't at all hungry until I saw this. That shop, I saw it last week but can't remember where, put me out of my misery


  5. Anonymous7:49 AM

    Your painting is absolutley mouthwatering!!

  6. I too am a citrus-based dessert lover! I love lemon meringue and key lime pies, I wish I had the courage to try and make some myself. You captured it perfectly in your painting. :)

  7. Ah, more lovely photos and interesting info. Enjoy the pic of the patisserie.

  8. making my mouth pucker with pleasure thousand of miles away
    Thank you

  9. How utterly delightful! I'm a huge fan of lemon-based desserts, and lemon tart happens to be my 'birthday cake' of choice!

    Thank you for posting these - they've really made my morning.


  10. Looking/reading your blog I find I have gained 10 lbs. It's been worth it. Everything looks so yummy.

  11. Anonymous11:00 AM

    I think that is my favourite of all your gorgeous pictures to date. There is just something about the refelction on the top of the tart. Perfect.

  12. Hey Gillot, the watercolor at the top of todays post is great. I think is your best one so far. The composition is dynamic, and the application of the paint is loose. There's a lot of movement in this one,and the colors are great. You should focus on doing more still lifes that have this kind of complex composition. You can do it!!!

  13. lovely citron!!! my favorite too...

  14. Anonymous1:24 PM

    I can't take my eyes of the citron coloured patisserie. Can anyone resist a visit........The most inviting I've seen :-)

  15. Anonymous6:30 PM

    Don't know why citron tarts aren't more popular here...they are so gorgeous in France! You capture that sheen on the surface so perfectly...

  16. It's such a pleasure living out a dream...that's what you are dreamy...the limon' colored photo is my fav.

  17. Anonymous8:31 PM

    I discovered your blog a few weeks ago and it is a delight for all the senses. Your watercolors are as mouth-watering dreamy as your photos.

    I, too, would rather have a tartelette au citron than a birthday cake any day of the year!

  18. Anonymous9:38 PM

    Another fabulous post with an excellent watercolor!

  19. Great watercolor, Carol. Is it for sale? :)

  20. Anonymous8:00 AM

    Yum, yellow yummminess! I too am a big fan of citrusy tartness. we stayed right across from Mulot's on rue De Seine and it was a blessing and a curse! What gorgeous food.

  21. Shelagh where did you stay? Not Hotel La Louisiane by any chance? Hmmm..could be a dangerous choice I've made...

  22. What a beautiful painting!

  23. Anonymous11:52 AM

    I propose a snob sentance "la géométrie pâtissière de P.Hermé..." thank you for your tarte au citron, très réaliste ! the shop Marquise de Sévigné is 2 minutes to my dentist, I have resisted, because I am waiting the week you will be in Paris...

  24. Anonymous2:18 PM

    What a beautiful WC. The only problem is I'm sick in bed at the moment and want one of these Tartlets so bad:) Thats what always happens when I come hear. I must gain weight also. Lol.
    Have a good day,

  25. Beautiful Paintings, Beautiful photos scrumptious all the way around.

    All the best
    ;) Rebecca

  26. ok, I am absolutely hungry now.......your fault! :)

  27. Anonymous9:42 AM

    I have decided that my diet plan involves eating only the deserts that you feature. So keep that in mind...

  28. Anonymous9:57 PM

    Your criticism of the domed lemon tart is right on: truly wonderful lemon curd is so silky it can NOT maintain a domed shape! That domed shape is an indication of something used to over-thicken the curd. What is the world coming to when you can't trust a French bakery to avoid stiffeners?
    I can't help but feel you may have been missing out on the birthday cakes.....

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  30. Anonymous10:08 PM

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