Attention, trend watchers: Retro pastries a la France are currently very much a la mode in New York City.
New York magazine food writers Robin Raisfeld and Rob Patronite have detected a recent “proliferation of classic French desserts” in eateries throughout NYC, declaring, “This is a moment for meringue, for lush pastry cream, and for looming souffles.”
Raisfeld and Patronite have pointed their readers to NYC restaurants where they can indulge in classic delights such as ile flottante, profiteroles, baked Alaska, tarte Tatin and more. And while it’s always a treat to let a practiced pastry chef do all the work, those who are nowhere near the Big Apple can still get on the vintage-style pastry party train by whipping up a few French delicacies in their own kitchens.
Here are some classic French dessert recipes to try at home, inspired by those Raisfeld and Patronite have noted are “popping up” on menus:
Ile Flottante: Fluffy praline- and caramel-topped meringue islands float in a pool of creme anglaise (vanilla custard). Dive in.
Profiteroles: Fill a cream puff with vanilla ice cream and top with warm chocolate, and what do you get? Hot-fudge-sundae-like nirvana.
Vacherin: This recipe offers “layers of sponge cake and meringue with chestnut and cream filling.”
Tarte Tatin: It’s kind of like apple pie, only French.
Mille-Feuille: The name of this multilayered puff-pastry-and-cream confection means “a thousand leaves.” It’s not hard to grasp why.
Baked Alaska: Ice cream cake covered with meringue? Mais oui!
Baba au Rhum: Drink … it … in.
Guess these fancy French desserts are classic for a reason, non?
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