Much as I’m looking to hunt down new taste sensations here in Paris, there’s a big part of me that loves to re-experience past knockouts. I go to Pierre Hermé every single day and buy a Montebello, which I then save for breakfast in the morning. Paired with a few poppy flower marshmallows and an espresso, there’s no finer way to greet the sunrise . . . or induce diabetes. Then there’s the Chou Pistache from Un Dimanche, the Éclair au Chocolat from Jacques Genin, or the Croissant Vanille from Café Pouchkine. I’ve had them all repeatedly in less than two weeks, when I could really have been branching out more. Oh, well.
Now, my big excitement in getting back to Des Gâteaux et du Pain was to snag their Pomme Tatin. Had someone been tapping into my internal monologue, when I first entered the shop last weekend, it would have come off as a guttural, nearly demonic rumble of “WHERE IS IT?!” As it turned out, it was nowhere. My beloved Pomme Tatin is gone for the season. I almost wanted to walk right back out, but given how much I love many of Madame Damon’s other pieces, I knew I could at least snag another past favorite. Then I spotted the subject of today’s review, the Poire Muscovado. Looking quasi-similar to the Pomme Tatin, I had a good feeling about this new addition to the vitrine. How thoroughly did it amuse me? Well . . .
Completely. The ever-talented Claire Damon has unleashed yet another work of unbridled brilliance upon us. Shielded beneath the lightly sweet and gloriously textured pear gelée that forms the dome of this delicious mound of gooey goodness, rests an equally sweetness-restrained crème. There’s much to love about its oh-so-smooth smoothness and its delicate touch of muscovado sugar. But just as its creamy waves are making their way about your palate, the more texturally complex and molassesy charms of the pear compote insinuate themselves. Ooo. Ahhh. It becomes immediately apparent how woefully underutilized the full range of sugars has been here in Paris . . . until now. Highest praises to Claire Damon for elevating the game. And, as if that all weren’t enough, there’s that delectable layer of pâte d’amande and the perfectly brusque and insouciant character of the not timid pâte sablée that chimes in and says, “Bonjour, mon ami!”
I just love the translucence of the gelée here. You can totally pick out the bands that are the crème and pear. Yum.
Tragically, when I was in the shop yesterday, the little guy here wasn’t in the case. I think I might have arrived a bit too early in the morning. So I had to “settle” for a mango tarte and the unexpected surprise of a new twist on Madame Damon’s Réligieuse Caramel. Expect to see that up here in the months ahead. It was fantastique.
So, yes, the Poire Muscovado gets
two three enthusiastic thumbs up. Is that more thumbs than I have? Yes. But it is that good. I’m excited to eat my way through some of the other new goodies she had in the case. I’m also jazzed to sample many of the breads and viennoiseries. The Bichon Cassis – a bit of a chausson aux pommes but with cassis inside and with a caramelized sugar exterior – might need to be popped in my “Other Goddies” section here, one day. Why must they make so many tasty things? The temptation. The relentless temptation of it all!