Monday, March 26, 2012

Tarte au Citron de Genin and the Little House of Love

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Are you wondering what this picture has to do with Jacques Genin's wonderful pastry? Read on

Have you ever seen a photograph of something or a place that just stuck in your soul ? And every time you thought of it , you knew you would find a way to get there, to be there  and experience everything you imagined from that photograph.  A few places have stayed with me like that, Positano and St Remy were two that I carried with me after seeing photographs of each of them. And when I had the opportunity to visit both places I had such strong stirrings in my heart and soul .  The feeling is hard to describe,but it's being able to stand in a place that you've been  in love with and let out the kind of sigh that is usually only elicited by a lover.  And that feeling just envelops you and you know that ,yes it is just as magical and wonderful as you imagined and then there is that  feeling that you've been there before .. as the wind blows across your face or you feel the heat of the sun on your feel content, you feel like you feel like you are home.  Positano and St Remy aren't the only places that do that for me..Paris is at the top of the list. A new one that I recently discovered has taken it's place in my heart and soul along with others.  This sweet house on the beach of Anguilla. 

 I'm not usually a pink and blue house person, I like earthy monochromatic tones, but when I saw this home in the New York Times real estate section I immediately fell in love. I stared at the photos for hours while reading everything I could  about the house and Anguilla. Karen,the owner of the house- La Petite Maison d'amour (The Little House of Love),designed and built the place herself. One visitor wrote: "there are pictures of her (Karen) hauling and hammering so I really believe that she somehow managed to infuse love into every pore of the place." Someday I will get there and feel the ocean spray and sit in the sun on that beautiful deck.

Now I am day dreaming of Caribbean breezes and the sound of the waves on the beach,waking up and looking out at the beautiful sea.  With all this daydreaming I feel the need for citrus,something light and summery and just as delicious and sweet as this little beach house. 

I stumbled on something delicious when I saw the picture of this tart over at Paris Patisseries.  And since I can't just hop a plane to Paris to taste it, I knew I had to find the recipe to make it. Don't you just love the Internet ?  I found the recipe but had to use my very basic high school French and Google translator to figure out the recipe. Google gave a sweet little translation for how many servings the recipe makes:" a pie of 6 people ", I love it. Here is my attempt at trying to make something as gorgeous and perfect as the one created by Jacques Genin. You can find the recipe I used here . It is a simple uncomplicated recipe but must be made with love,care and perfection in order to even come within the same solar system of Jacques Genin's quality.

Chef Genin's book,  Tarte au Citron de Genin is available through Amazon and contains everything you could want to know about his tarts(It is in French). Since I'm still struggling with my translation of Pierre Herme's Macaron book, I'll put Chef Genin's on the back burner for now. (Yes,yes, I know the Macaron book is now published in English -but it's a good exercise in trying to teach myself French!)

 I watched the You Tube Video 5 times and those look like limes being squeezed and grated ,so I was confused as to why a Tarte au Citron, Lemon Tart, would be made with limes. I started questioning the translation provided by Google. Voila, I figured it out, or rather David Lebovitz figured it out for me. I was reading David's post on lemon bars and he mentioned that Jacques Genin prefers to use fresh limes for his lemon tart !

Pour une tarte de 6 persoI prefer Out of respect for Chef Genin, I'm not publishing the recipe on my site. If you decide to try it and do the Google translation I will tell you that icing sugar is powdered sugar; use almond meal flour for the ground almonds (unless you can grind the almonds very very fine); and caster sugar is very very fine sugar.Warning the sweet pastry dough is so delicious you will want to eat it before it's baked.

Next time I make this, and there will be a next time, I will not add the zest to the pastry cream as the recipe calls for.  I prefer my pastry cream to be smooth and the lime zest takes on an odd color when cooked with the pastry cream. But the pastry cream, oh my goodness,it's so rich and tart,absolutely delicious. I will keep practicing with this recipe until I create a tart as beautiful as the Chef's. But in the mean time I think I will have a small slice and day dream of my house in Anguilla.
Pour la pâte sucrée : Pour la crème citron : La veille, préparer la pâte sucrée.ur cela, fendre la ½ gousse de vanille en deux et retirer
Le jour J, préparer la crème citron.


bellini said...

I have been dreaming of the Amalfi Coast for years and am finally realizing my dream and heading there this fall. But a new dream has entered as I dream of staying in an old convent in the town of Tropea and a small home in the medieval town of Calitri. Dreams are good!

Seattle Pastry Girl said...

I'm so jealous, I love the Amalfi Coast and yes dreams are very good