When I go to Paris it is all about pastry. O.K., there is the occasional shopping spree and sight-seeing but that usually happens on my trek to the pastry shops that are on my "I can't go home until I've been there" list. I have to describe my baking as more "rustic" French. That, I feel, allows for imperfections. Pastry in Paris is usually anything but, and I always have a camera in hand to photograph these exquisite creations. On my last trip to Paris PIERRE HERME (72 rue Bonaparte, 6e), JEAN-LUC POUJAURAN (20 rue Jean-Nicot, 7e), and STOHRER (51 rue Montorgueil, 2e) were all patisseries I needed to see. Either I have read much about the shop or have obtained a recipe from that patisserie and want to compare my baked goods to theirs.
One patisserie I must visit every trip to Paris is GERARD MULOT (76 rue de Seine, 6e), and for many reasons. I have baked several items from that patisserie (Brioches aux Gouttes de Chocolat, Tourte au Saumon, Tarte au Chocolat, and most recently Tarte au Clafoutis aux Cerises) and all have had excellent results.
Gerard Mulot's popularity is quite obvious on Saturday afternoons when lines of Parisians extend out the door and down the block to make purchases before the shop closes that evening not to reopen until Monday morning.
Lately, my friends and family have been enjoying Gerard Mulot's Tarte au Clafoutis aux Cerises (mine shown at left) from the book, Paris Sweets by Dorie Greenspan. The recipe calls for either creme fraiche or heavy whipping cream to be used in the custard. I recommend the creme fraiche for that wonderful tanginess it achieves. Clafoutis is usually baked in a dish without a crust, but having made it as a tart, as Patisserie Gerard Mulot does with a shortbread cookie-like crust, I cannot imagine it any other way.