Sunday, July 21, 2013

Paris Summer Fruit tartes

Les Tartes de l'Eté
Today's post is strictly for your edification so don't start salivating. I was running 🏃‍♀️ by my local boulangerie (Alsacian R.Maeder) on the corner.
And I noticed a ton of fruity tartes glowing in the window. I went back for a second look.
I met Veronique Marot and Carla Carlson for tea last week (none of us had fruit tartes or any dessert by the way). They mentioned, in passing, how French summer desserts were so much better. They are just a pâte sablée base (like a shortbread cookie) piled high with fresh fruit and not much sugar. Hmm, interesting.
This seems to be the case. Could they pile any more fruit on these things? I doubt it.
This picture was shot by the young man behind the counter! 
He took pity on me,
'Give me your iPad".
I think he was thrilled to try out the new mini.
I asked for a box for my 2 small fruity pastries. No way. You have to buy more than two.That's how it goes in a boulangerie. They don't just give away their boxes and fancy ribbons like that.
My pastries made it home safe and sound but take a good look. These are a bit 'plain Jane'. The fruit is a tad uniform and ordinaire.
Unlike the architecturally constructed works of art by Frederic Cassel Head of the French team that won at Lyon. Definitely haut couture in the pastry world. The point being there is quite a difference in quality and design between a boulangerie and a top patisserie. The price tag is different too. But in both cases you're getting a lot of fruit and not a ton of icing or other sugary stuff.
Something else came to mind. How come Parisian pastries get to stay nice an cool in glass cases, but Parisians suffer the blasted heat sans cesse?
After looking at fans all week and deciding on none, late yesterday I went foraging. It was cooking out there. But Castorama, the Home-Depot of Paris was cleaned out.
"Oh we had 100 fans this weekend but they went. We hope to get more on Monday or Tuesday".
What? 100 fans only? When I returned to the apartment I noticed among the renovations rubbish next to the building what looked like a perfectly good fan. I took it upstairs.
 'Ca marche'. It works! OK so it does make a TERRIBLE racket.
Any hints how to fix a noisy fan? Does it need A-1 oil or is that steak sauce?
I spotted the Dog-of-the-day on the Metro looking relaxed on the very cool aclimatizatee #2 train. 
*Leçon learned: Don't wait for a heat wave to buy a fan. And eat fruity French tartes. It can't hurt.


  1. Lol! A-1 might have found a new use for the steak sauce!!

    1. The heat/Canicule will do that to you... ;)

  2. Anonymous12:17 PM

    As always, thank you for your posts.
    Your fan rattle may be a loose screw or loose cover, tighten your screws and reset the cover. I
    think the oil was "3 in1".
    Steve FL

    1. I need to get a Phillipshead screw driver tomorrow
      Something makes me think it requires internal surgery

  3. Anonymous12:34 PM

    Package arrived and we love it! So excited to have a piece of your artwork that starts my day almost everyday (Paris Breakfast)
    We are returning to Paris in Sept. and have used your site for so many new places to discover.
    Thanks so much

  4. oh yes, i love those less sugary french desserts. their fruit always seems more flavorful too.

    1. Boy would I love to figure that one out!
      Their fruit tastes fruity not like cardboard
      And the aromas

  5. Love the aquarelle!.. and yes I see M.Cassel's pastries are definitely a notch well.. many more above..I do not mean to be unkind to your corner store....but c'est visible comme tout!
    And his signature in chocolat..could even be in the shape of an artists' palette.
    I asked J about the fan:) he said maybe the blades are off?:)
    The fan's not terribly ugly though.. blue:)
    The desktop computer is what I ahve to trace upright and a bit away..
    Not trying to make excuses..:)
    Bon dimanche Carol~

  6. Love the watercolor! I laughed at the notion of the people being so hot and the pastries being all cool in behind the counter! They sure look yummy and beautiful though. Maybe I'll at least run over to the farmers market for some of those berries. Mouthwatering!

  7. Excellent advice. Love your fruity painting.

  8. Yum regarding the desserts. I could eat my weight in any of those. Maybe a screwdriver and some WD-40? Is that Sharon's dog, Ghetto?

  9. You and Veronique and Carla had NO desserts? Perhaps you should re-evaluate the company youRe keeping ... :-)
    As for the hot people and cold pastries...naturellment, les peoples chaud would not want to eat pastries chaud?

  10. Anonymous9:12 PM

    Thank you for the link...
    very funny "the blasted heat sans cesse!"!!!
    We didn't have dessert but we had ice cream!
    If you had put those pies in front of me I would have willingly ate them!
    After you made those pretty watercolors did you proceed to do so?

  11. Be careful playing with the inside of the fan - you're not sure how things will end up when you plug it back in.
    I hope that it cools down soon for you, we just got a nice blast of cool air here in RI.
    The pastries look fabulous!

  12. Fans that make noise could overheat. Would not have it on unless in close attendance. Do they have drugstores like here? Our local has everything - fans, screwdrivers etc. Good luck. Desserts are BEAUTIFUL and mouthwatering. Bisous

  13. I just bought a fan I spotted out walking this morning early.
    Now to figure out how to put it together
    No instructions natch...

  14. You crack me up--"A1 Oil" do you mean WD40? Hope you get the fan workin' and helping out. We're having tons of rain this summer--this is not Seattle.

    Love the watercolor, Carol!


  15. Lovely. I'm so happy you bought/found a fan! It can make it bearable. We are so spoiled with air conditioning everywhere.

  16. If you figure out that fan thing, share it! Mine just rattles -- I think it is off kilter, like a chair or table with a short leg and when you move, it wobbles. I use a fan less than 10 days a year -- unfortunately, last week I used up about six of them. Even went to bed with the frozen cooler ice wrapped up in a t-shirt, clutching it to keep cool. Good luck.

    Meanwhile, I'll take even the plain Jane pastry over most one can find here! They are wee works of art!

    1. I discovered the front cover was on upside down for one
      But the wings are bent unfortunately so they scrape the cover just less so now that I switched the cover...

  17. desertwildflower2:22 PM

    Carol, I just want to tell you how much I love your blog. When you moved from New York to Paris I was a little worried, but of course the blog is even better now.
    And I also want to thank you for a couple of books I'd never have discovered if not for you - Vivian Swift's When Wanderers Cease to Roam and Bringing Up Bebe.

  18. Anonymous3:12 PM

    Good luck with the fan. If it's any consolation the same situation happens here in Sonoma Co. California each time we have a heatwave. I bought a lovely standing fan at the very beginning of our last heat wave. I RACED in when the temperature in my casa become unbearable - I was lucky to find a great fan on sale. It seems unlikely to feel excited about a fan purchase but I'm sure you understand!
    WD40 or the french version of it is always a good place to start.
    Also, look for a handy-man also very useful!
    Best of luck,

    1. Know any French handymen?
      I could really use one!
      I got a fan on sale this morning and somewhat fixed the other one so now I have TWO fans.
      Plus cross ventilation

  19. Anonymous4:40 PM

    Good luck, stay cool and I am busy in my kitchen in Los Angeles (with the ceiling fan on) thinking about which tart I want to assemble on top of my pate sable.
    Love your blog and your water colors! Thank you.

  20. Patricia5:14 PM

    WD40 works on anything noisy or stuck.... duct tape for anything you want to stick together. Between the two, you have all of my repair secrets.

  21. Carol,

    You make me miss having a hubs. I'm like you, not interested in fiddling with mechanical things. That's when it's nice to just hand it to a man. They like that stuff.

    French food tastes better as isn't loaded with chemicals, GMO, dyes, pesticides, etc. Here one has to go to the source and buy organic. i.e. I'm in Carmel-by-the-Sea and Earthbound Farms is just 4 miles away in Carmel Valley.

    Those pastries look wonderful. So agree...I like lots of fruit, no sugar if possible, and just a touch of crust.

    Wishing you cool!

  22. Anonymous10:19 PM

    I am sorry but I am laughing about you finding a fan in the garbage...what would the odds be on the blade hitting the protection cover ?

    1. I know...too bizarre
      Surely it was Karmic destiny that brought me to Paris
      I never found a fan in NYC! ;))

  23. You live a charmed life!! I mean what are the odds of finding a fan in the garbage to use when you needed one even if it did rattle. Now I hope you can get the other one together without it rattling. :)) Was 96 degrees here today. yikes. I even put a fan on our chickens. :)

  24. valerie s.12:43 AM

    You're pastry photos are always my favorites! I've been trying to find out how to fold one of those paper pyramids, can you help?

  25. I'm addicted to making fruity tarts this summer but now that I'm stuck in bed am salivating at your photos here, Carol. Stay cool. I got my air conditioner during the cool weather when nobody was thinking of it... Scottish reflex?


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