Café Pouchkine :: Tutti Frutti

By Paris Pâtisseries in Café Pouchkine, Pastry Reviews
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Café Pouchkine :: Tutti Frutti

If I could criticize Café Pouchkine for one thing, it would be that they make it way too easy to feel disappointed in the other shops. There’s no way to visually take in something like the Tutti Frutti here and not feel like everyone else is cutting corners. Scratch that. It’s in seeing this that you know the others are taking shortcuts. Emmanuel Ryon and his team simply push the aesthetic boundaries of pastries with such relentless aplomb that, if he didn’t already hold the triad of World Champion, MOF and French Champion titles, he should be given honorary versions of each.

I’m so dazzled by Café Pouchkine and the amazing chef Ryon that I’ve been trying to coordinate an in-kitchen session with the master, to add to my past séances photo with Jacques Genin, Hugues Pouget, Philippe Rigollot and other gods/goddesses of pastry. Sadly, he’s working at the newly-opened Brasserie Pouchkine in New York and likely won’t be back in Paris until the fall. I’m hoping our schedules might align come October so that I can unload a 32GB camera card catching him in action . . . and force him to do a pistachio crème blood transfusion on me. Until then, I’m going to merely eat his finest wares from the Paris boutique, including the subject of today’s review – the Tutti Frutti.

Café Pouchkine :: Tutti Frutti

Even though there are technically hundreds of “commonly” used fruits in the world, this little guy’s studding of kiwi, mango, strawberry, pear, melon, blueberry, blackberry, and dragon fruit goes pretty far in living up to its name (Tutti Frutti = Italian for ‘all fruits’). The variety is fantastic, and their exquisite ripeness is the veritable cherry on top . . . despite the ironic absence of an actual cherry.

The gelée mound beneath the fruit seems to be a hybrid of pear and orange, though to be honest, the cornucopia of fruit flavors riding atop it makes it a bit challenging to tease out the exact notes. One thing is clear – that gelée is blissfully tender and contains within it a succulently sweet strawberry coulis. Even with a mouthful of all the bits and pieces, strawberry is the deliciously overriding note. Last but not least is the obscenely tasty almond Genoise that forms the base of this fruit fantasia. Very pound-cakey and rich – but not too much so – it makes for a splendid contrast to the gooier elements resting above. The net effect of it all? Unadulterated yum.

Café Pouchkine :: Tutti Frutti

I’m sure you’re wondering, “Hey, how do they make all those pieces of fruit stay in place? Shouldn’t they just roll right off?” Good question. But there’s a simple answer. Before any fruit piece is applied, the chef dips just a square millimeter of it in the strawberry coulis, then leans in and whispers, “You can have the rest, if you chew through the gelée.” Placing it against the gelée, the fruit instantly grabs on in hopes of making it through for another taste of the coulis heart of the pastry. But, minus teeth, it never makes any progress, though stays perfectly affixed through force of will. It’s a genius technique only Monsieur Ryon could have dreamt up. Either that, or there’s a denser/purer layer of gelatin over the main dome that actually cements the fruit in place, but I mean, really, how could that possibly work?

Café Pouchkine :: Tutti Frutti

And wait until you see the Pouchkine pastry I whip out for you next Friday! Beautiful as the Tutti Frutti here is, the Feijoa might be the loveliest of all Pouchkine’s work.

Café Pouchkine :: Tutti Frutti

So, yes, absolutely get yourself a Tutti Frutti. Not only is it amazing, but it’s one of the few pastries in Paris to use 100% pure chunks of real dragon in the dragon fruit. Andalusian – it’s the best. Also make sure to pick up any/all of the following: almond croissant, macaron fraise coeur-pistache, macaron pur morse, Napoléon, Or Noir, Moskito. Then feast!

SUPER SPECIAL: Monday is my ‘Farewell to America’/’Bonjour, Paris!’ entry, as I’m headed back to The City of Light Pastries on Tuesday. So ready yourself for a 20 photo extravaganza of some of my favorite Parisian shots. I cannot wait to be back in the country where I should have been born.

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18 Responses to “ Café Pouchkine :: Tutti Frutti ”

  1. joel says:

    hi adam,
    this pastry looks and sounds amazing. i'm not a big lover of lots of creme, so this is right up my alley. (so to speak.) i wish you a bon voyage, and i'm looking forward to whatever it is that you'll be "whipping out" for us next week. you have such a way with words. such a tease!!!!

    • All those little turns of phrase are perhaps what I enjoy most about writing here. Whether they're loaded with dual meanings, alliterative or just strange, it's always funny to tap them out. And thanks for the bon voyage!

  2. @sipagolda says:

    Goodbye my friend. I hope to see you when you return. Enjoy Paris. I leave for India on Monday.

    • India is where I want to go. But I must find myself a tour guide. I always want to build up an immunity to the water there, in advance of my getaway, so that I can eat anything and everything. Anyway – have an awesome time!

  3. sylv says:

    Bienvenue to your "pays d'adoption"patissier!!! Nous attendons avec délice vos nouveaux excès sucrés.. Pourquoi ne pas essayer ceux qui ont un gateau exquis, comme la polonaise ou le croissant au amandes de chez millet, le bélisaire ou le victor de chez boissier,la bombe aux marrons de rollet-pradier, le rocher praliné de chez berthillon..Ce sont certes des classiques moins innovants qui ne sont pas l'actualité mais nous allons parfois chercher une seule variété de gâteau exprès chez un pâtissier..

    • Mon problème est que la plupart des gens qui viennent ici veulent selement savoir plus de Ladurée et Pierre Hermé. Il est difficile de les intéresser dans les autres pâtisseries que je montre de Cafe Pouchkine, Hugo & Victor, Sadaharu Aoki et d'autres. Donc, parfois je montre pâtisseries des pâtisseries comme ceux que vous avez mentionnés, mais il serait difficile de les partager plus souvent. C'est tellement difficile de garder les gens divertir et éduqués :(

  4. Julie says:

    Hahaha…"he leans in and whispers 'you can have the rest if you chew through the gelee'"!!! That's pure gold. GOLD I say.

    • I don't always know if my crazy things will give people a laugh, but I'm glad it made you chuckle! I always feel bad for non-native speakers who attempt to read one of these entries. It must be surreal.

  5. Emmanuelle says:

    Nice to have you back in Paris :)

    • Thanks, Emmanuelle. I am excited to be getting back. My apologies is that means pastries are hard for others to purchase now. I can help that I need to eat every single one in Paris every day ;)

      • Emmanuelle says:

        As long as you share your thoughts online – then I can order the best ones ;) Sadly I can't taste them all anyway…

  6. Janet says:

    Ha ha! Yes, Adam. You should have been born in France. I also would like to think that those of us who were not born in France but now get to live here have much catching up to do, and how sweet it is! Welcome back!

    Just voted for you. Yours is the best blog by far, and I'm very biased.

    • Yeah, I actually think maybe it's best not to be born in the country you love. Because then you always get to appreciate it with a certain sense of perspective and awe a native wouldn't get. It's like how one of my favorite musicians once said he was jealous of all of his fans, since he'd never get to watch himself perform live. Same idea ;)

  7. Fiona says:

    Yes, a walk down the hill to Cafe Pouchkine, rather than a walk up the furnicular steps to the Sacre Coeur is definitely in order when I am in Paris next week

    • Yes, you definitely have to indulge. Going to Paris is a special thing. Not eating like a crazy person there would be like going to Egypt and not seeing the pyramids or going to Kenya without doing a safari. Plus, you'll be walking so much that you'll easily earn at least 2 or 3 real indulgences every day you're there.

      • fiona says:

        I completely agree so tried the moskito and the or noir yesterday (divine). No tutti frutti until 26th. That was after my early morning hike up the stairs of course! See what you mean about the service in cafe pouchkine though…the only rude woman we have experienced during all our shopping experiences and there have been many. She was so rude that my husband who speaks good French (so that wasn't the problem) almost walked out before buying anything..which would have been a huge shame

  8. mirelys says:

    OMG this looks so delicious!!!!!

  9. Jonathan says:

    Now that's a state of the art fruit cake… And I know how they do to make the spheric shape of the fruits: with a cuiller parisienne (chek out on Google images).

    By the way Adam, I am in desperate need of an awesome pastry involving pomegranate. I mean, this fruit's seeds are so beautiful, almost like rubys. The flavor of a ripe pomegranate could be quite exquisite too. There must be a chef making something out of it, but I might have missed it (I could totally imagine E.Ryon doing something with it…). Are you aware of such a pastry ?

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