Here’s a question. Do you love vanilla ice cream? Normal vanilla, French vanilla, scooped or soft serve? If so, I’m sorry for you, because once you experience this tarte, your favorite ice cream will leave your taste buds soiled with disappointment.
I’m not a Pierre Hermé fan in general, so for me to be so dazzled by one of his pastries says quite a lot. The crèmes in this tarte are beyond silky. I don’t know that I’ve ever eaten anything quite so smooth before. And the vanilla is, per the tarte’s name, infinite and expansive to an exquisite point. At the last bite, I was just about to reach my vanilla intake limit, but there was no morsel left to drive me over the brink. Excellence.
The tarte crust was pretty good and par for the course with Hermé – toward the lower end of the scale of patisiers’ intensity and complexity. Though my continuum might evolve soon enough, the range starts with the clean Ladurée pâte sucrée, goes to Hermé for a little extra nuance, then on to Caffet for a more interesting challenge, and finally to Carl Marletti for a, “There must be 20 ingredients in this with all these flavors.”
This is definitely a tarte in which to indulge. But, again, be forewarned that it will haunt you on the next occasion you have vanilla ice cream.
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