Deconstructed– that’s how Sébastien Mauvieux presents the lemon tart proposed in his bakery cum pastry shop, Pain Pain. Yet this dessert remains familiar – in fact we find it to be highly ordered, with its neatly overlaid square shapes. Let us explore this tart and see if the upheaval of classic shapes means we will be bowled over by novel flavors.
This tart is composed of a square shortcrust pastry base, topped with a lemon cream, a lime jelly, and a finally a second lime jelly. The surface is decorated with two meringue sticks.
Déstructurée by Pain Pain is 76 mm wide, 74 mm long, and 29 mm high. The specimen we purchased weights 91 grams and costs 4.60 euros.
The decorative meringues have a slightly crunchy crust and a completely liquid interior, which comes as a surprise when we break the rods and white liquid flows out. The first lime jelly– the thinner of the two jellies– is very compact, and detaches itself in one piece from the rest of the tart. It does not melt in one’s mouth, and can in fact be chewed. The flavor is authentically lemony, although quite sweet, and presents no bitterness.
The second lime jelly is just as sweet, but has the advantage of being less compact and slightly bitter, thus bringing a nuance in flavor. As for the lemon cream, it is surprisingly hard and compact, its consistency reminiscent of that of cold butter. We notice a rather strong and unfortunate eggy taste. It nevertheless has the advantage of being nicely acidic and of melting on one’s tongue, once warmed in the mouth. Finally, while the shortcrust pastry does reveal a nice buttery taste, tinged with a point of salt, it sadly remains too pale and lacking in crunchiness. A longer baking time would certainly be advisable.
While the lemon cream seems to us excessively rich and compact, it is nevertheless freshened up by the second jelly layer. The thinner jelly displayed on the surface, however, seems too rigid, acting like an unwelcome skin on the dessert. Making it more flexible, so that it blends more seamlessly with the rest of the dessert, would certainly be a welcome improvement. On the whole, all of the ingredients would benefit from being lightened in sugar. Finally, the shortcrust base disappoints us with its texture and insufficient degree of baking – details which could undoubtedly be fixed by giving greater attention to the cooking parameters.
Score : 3.2/5 Average
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