On the nice days I like to walk to bakeries. It’s a peaceful thing, with sugar at the end, and my hope is that over the next few months that I have here in this city, I might gain a kind of perspective on the relative quality of Montreal patisseries. Some equations are obvious: Au Pain Doré is everywhere (and the quality I’m finding is surprisingly good, at least at some locations).
Patisserie Gascogne at least LOOKS fabulous, and worth any kind of inconvenient trip to cross it’s huge corner-front doorstep. Is it newsworthy to walk around and spend $2 on a cookie, eat it with gusto and then talk about it? It depends what you consider news I guess. And even if the answer is no, it’s not like I’ll stop. Food bloggers the world around rally with me on this one! Pleasure is worth talking about.
Yesterday, I managed to convince myself that a lemon meringue pie would make a fabulous lunch, and lo and behold it really did.
Lemon Meringue Tart, $2.50, from Patisserie Fous
If I could make a pastry like this, I might retire from making pastry and uh, MAKE PASTRY. Hehehe, well dude, this was awesome. I kinda like my lemonyness to kick me down and dance a little citric acid dance around my gumline, and this one was a lot gentler than that. At first I lamented! I really did. Okay, not that much. And soon I loved it. What it lacked in sharpness it made up in pure clean flavour, and paired with that melt-away campfire meringue and, that sandy super-browned crust that broke off like sedimentary layers made mostly of butter, it balanced real nice, sir, it did.
And since I couldn’t leave such an adorable place without craning my neck at the extra little elegant nibbles they’d had out, I picked up a few extras.
A yuzu truffle ($2) and an earl grey madeleine ($1) went on the order, too. Both pretty good specimens of the type, with some interesting flavours to keep one interested beyond the promise of sugar. And it was my first madeleine ever! Can you beLIEVE that? I’m such a cookie virgin. I was surprised at how subtle the flavour was, and the crumb was surprisingly sturdy to me. Eggy, and rich, but still somehow light and not too sweet. And the yuzu truffle? MMmmmmMMMmmm one bite coats your mouth with impossibly creamy milky deep chocolate with overnotes of exotic citrus. Not quite tangerine, not quite grapefruit, but there like a bright yellow trim on what would otherwise be a regular truffle. Really nice.