Sunday, November 16, 2008

Chaussons aux Pommes Revisited

As promised, I tried a bunch of chaussons aux pommes during my trip to Paris. I started at the wonderful Dalloyau, 99-101, rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré (8ème). I found the puff pastry to be excellent, but so high and flaky that it bore little relation to the apple filling. Next, I tried a chausson at Eric Kayser, 85, boulevard Malesherbes (8ème) as Molly Wizenburg had recommended. Better. Here the pastry was kept in check, and the apples kept a little texture, so each bite yielded a well-balanced mouthful of apple, butter, sugar and flour tastes. Third was Monoprix, which generally has decent, if not excellent, pastries. Bad: cardboard plus apple sauce. Fourth was Gérard Mulot, 76, rue de Seine (6ème), a great pâtisserie and home of the stupendous individual orange tart that is almost a crème brulée. Another disappointment: the pastry and the apple filling had nothing to do with each other. Finally, I tried Julien, 73, avenue Franklin D. Roosevelt (8ème), as recommended by Mimi. Second place: a relatively compact chausson with nice apple taste, and a bargain at 1.40 euros.

The bottom line for me, though, after all this sampling, is that I prefer my hand-held puff pastry plain (croissant) or stuffed with chocolate (pain au chocolat). And I prefer my apples atop a classic tarte.

But millions of French people can't be wrong (at least not about a pastry), and there are as many versions as there are pâtisseries, so please try them for yourselves and let me know what you discover.

Bobby Jay


Anonymous said...

The apartment I rented in Paris two years ago was literally upstairs from Poilane (6eme). Try their chausson next time you are there!

Bobby Jay said...

I finally got to Poilane today, primarily to try their flan nature for a post on that subject. But while there I got a chausson aux pommes. Of course it was good, but the pastry was a bit thin and soggy. It did not displace Eric Kayser's as the best I have found; nor did it change my conclusion that the chausson aux pommes is not the equal of numerous other Parisian treats.