We have been known to slip into an orchard after hours of hiking in the scorching sun, titillated by this trespassing but parched and exhausted, craving a moment of rest in the shade of apple trees. With no water in sight, pounding the dry, dusty ground with our weary feet, we quenched our thirst by biting into apples – brazenly picked following a series of acrobatics. These granny smith apples count amongst the most delectable things we have ever tasted. Refreshing, tart, gorged with the sugar they patiently accumulated on their branch, they create a juicy explosion in our mouth every time we bite into their firm and crisp flesh, their juice drenching our tongue and palate. In such a situation, what a shame – and how reprehensible– to limit oneself to a single apple. And so we picked and consumed apples to our heart’s content. What memories remain with us of this sweet moment? Our quest down memory lane brings us to Thévenin, which proposes a pastry showcasing Grannysmith apples.
This dessert is composed of a speculos-cookie crust topped with an apple mousse, containing in its center caramelized granny smith apples. The mousse is coated in a vanilla icing, and crowned with a pistachio macaron.
Granny by Thévenin has a diameter of 72 mm and a height of 50 mm. The specimen we purchased weights 136 grams and costs 4.20 €.
We start our tasting with the macaron which sits atop the cake. It has a nice texture, characterized by the usual crisp exterior and chewy interior which are the mark of a proper Parisian macaron. Its color, on the other hand, is too brightly green to be believably natural, while its pistachio flavor is equally too pronounced, thus masking the nut’s subtle natural taste. The vanilla icing is an astonishingly thin and translucent coating, applied with perfectly uniform thickness across the entire mousse, and dotted with tiny black specks. It also appears to be apple-flavored – though it is hard to tell whether this flavor is incorporated into the icing or whether it simply stems from its proximity to the mousse.
The barely sweet apple mousse holds itself well, managing to be relatively rigid while simultaneously being very light and refreshing. In its center we discover caramelized apples, which are reminiscent of those typically found in a Tarte Tatin. The pieces of fruit melt in one’s mouth as they do in a compote, yet we would have preferred them to be slightly firmer, so as to better retain the texture of the actual fruit. The crust found at the base of the cake appears to be made of crushed speculos cookies. It carries the distincle taste of speculos, is not soggy, and surprises us with a pleasant, discrete touch of salt.
This Granny by the Thévenin pastry shop comes off as sufficiently well thought-out and executed to really catch our attention. Its components are nicely textured, it is carefully assembled, and has a distinct aesthetic touch to it. Sugar is used in moderation, and we easily recognize the flavor of apple. The faithfulness of this apple flavor to the granny smiths, however, is disputable. It is tamer, more common, and lacks the fruit’s trademark acidity, which we would have liked to feel in the background in every bite. The choice of pistachio flavor for the macaron also appears to us somewhat unwise – perhaps it would have been preferable to select a more neutral perfume which would have allowed the apple to maintain the full gustatory prominence it deserves. In effect, this dessert is less focused on its main character than its name and color may imply. More granny smith and more tartness seem to us desirable, even though this pastry could easily please as is.
Score: 3.8/5 Very good
119 avenue du Général Leclerc, 75014 Paris, France
Open from Thursday to Tuesday from 7am to 8pm. Closed on Wednesday.
Tel: +33 1 45 40 48 64
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