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Sunday
Mar212010

Beautiful Pear-ing: Tarte Poires Chocolat from Thierry Renard, Paris

I'm a firm believer that when something is done extremely well, it can make you a believer.

I'm also a believer that sometimes the most wonderful experiences are the ones that you stumble upon accidentally (if serendipitously).

Case in point: the pear-chocolate tart from Thierry Renard, a tiny boulangerie-patisserie in a Paris neighborhood off the beaten path, in a neighborhood with a hospital and what looks like a lot of medical students milling about.

Though I don't consider myself a big fan of pear desserts -- or chocolate-and-fruit flavor pairings, for that matter! -- after tasting this I had to concede that it was very, very good.

When the bitterness of the dark chocolate meets the mellow sweetness of the pears, which were soft but not in a mushy way, something lovely happens: both flavors make the other better. It's not a pastry made of sharp contrasts but more composed of subtleties, all wrapped up in a deliciously buttery crust. And the glaze and chocolate chips on top don't hurt, either. Oh, let's look at it again:

Who knew what a perfect pear-ing these flavors could be--merci, Thierry Renard!

Tarte Poires Chocolat from Thierry Renard, 131 bis Boulevard de l’Hôpital, 13th Arrondissement, Paris.

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    Seeking Sweetness in Everyday Life - CakeSpy - Beautiful Pear-ing: Tarte Poires Chocolat from Thierry Renard, Paris

Reader Comments (10)

One of my pastry instructors in culinary school was French. He was always assigning us pear desserts for banquets and we were always trying to convince him that no one likes pears that much. He insisted that everyone loves pears. Sure enough, at the end of each banquet, the pear dish would barely be touched. Maybe the French enjoy pears much more than Americans?

March 21 | Unregistered CommenterMary

Dear Paris Tart,
I want to meet you.
Tell the Cakespy to set it up.
I need you in my life.
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March 21 | Unregistered CommenterRae

<I>Who knew what a perfect pear-ing these flavors could be?</I>

Er... who doesn't? Pear and chocolate is like pear and red wine: it's one of the obvious match-ups that I thought <I>everyone</I> knew about! Oh well, evidently not Americans...

(My normal caveat about buying a treat like that in a bakery is that one cannot be sure that the pears are of the quality required to stand up to the chocolate: I have made pear-and-chocolate desserts at home a hundred times, but only when the pears were exactly right.)

March 22 | Unregistered CommenterJesurgislac

Thanks for the sweet comments buddies! Rae, you crack me up! Jesurgislac: Whoa, you are blowing my mind! I had never even considered pears and red wine. (I am so uncultured! Educate me!)

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August 15 | Unregistered Commenterwasai

American's don't like pears? Nooooooo! Eating a properly ripened pear is a sensual experience. The delightful assault on the nose and the taste buds as you bite into one.

Pears poached in red wine is a restaurant staple here (England). Here's one recipe (you can google for dozens more).

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/5044/poached-pears-in-spiced-red-wine

My favourite is Pear Frangipane on a light shortcrust pastry base. If you do it right, it looks and tastes fabulous.

http://www.linternaute.com/femmes/cuisine/recette/312190/1375971595/tarte-amandes-et-poires.shtml

http://www.750g.com/recettes_tarte_aux_amandes_et_poires.htm

If you don't speak French, cut and paste into Google Translate.

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