Showing posts with label French pastries. Show all posts
Showing posts with label French pastries. Show all posts

26 February 2014

Making Jésuites, a French Patisserie Classic



Jésuites from the market in Old Cahors, 2008

Each visit to France has had its own flavor as we explored both city and countryside, north and south, examining the differences.

I love the constant street noise in Paris, even after midnight, but I also love the deep quiet of the dark countryside at 2 a.m.

Both city and country have one thing in common: Incredible outdoor food markets, filled with produce, cheese, meat and baked goods. The baked goods found in Paris seem a bit more inventive and elegant while the pastries of the south are rooted in tradition.

13 October 2008

Jesuites and Other Pastries

I entered a building I have not entered in decades today. Never mind the circumstances. I had to steel myself to do it as my departure from there was a sad one.

I was a child then, and I did not understand the circumstances. I only knew something was amiss, and I was a study in abject misery. "I want to go home," I kept saying to my mother, though I did not understand the concept of home. I only knew I wanted safety.

As an adult, I frequently feel the need to find a safe harbor, and the same phrase enters my mind. It coursed through my thoughts again and again when we were away. The news on television was grim, and my French is utilitarian enough to understand and become somewhat alarmed. By day we had the beauty of the French countryside to distract us, but by night we often hunkered down by the television, listening and watching disturbing reports about the American economy.

I found myself reaching for soft, comforting sweets, Like the creamy puffs above or the Jesuite below.

Called Jesuites because they were once coated with chocolate (which would have resembled the long cassock of the Jesuit priest), the pastry triangles are filled with frangipane. Jesuites are a staple of the patisserie.

In France, I was drawn to pastries as I have never been drawn before. Slowly savoring my Jesuite, I felt like a the naughty Catholic schoolgirl I once was, and perhaps will forever be.

But sometimes you just need a little comfort...