Finally, the Party!
I've been doing a little baking.
The graduation party for my daughter Claire finally took place this past weekend.
I've spent the past month baking for the French pastry-themed event. Layers for the buttercream frosted cakes were made ahead and frozen, as were the French chocolate bouchons (on the left). There was also Framboise et Fromage de Chèvre des Sablés (shortbread with raspberries and goat cheese), French blueberry, rhubarb, and cherry clafoutis tarts, individual apricot galettes, a caramelized walnut and chocolate tart, small, individual fruit tarts filled with lemon curd and pastry cream, French cookies, Palmiers, and lemon, chocolate, and vanilla pound cakes with fresh berries and cream.
Individual Apricot Free-form Tarts (recipe here).
My niece, who is a French-trained pastry chef, flew in to help me finish up the desserts.
My friend Kathy (also the architect who designed my kitchen), was a huge help, making the lemon curd for the tarts (see recipe below), the palmiers, and the lemon poundcake.
The desserts were served outdoors on the patio.
Lemon Curd Tarts with Berries
Fine Cooking Magazine
For the Lemon Curd:
• 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
• 1 cup sugar
• 2 large eggs
• 2 large egg yolks
• 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
• 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1. In a large bowl, beat the butter and the sugar for about 2 minutes. Slowly add the eggs and yolks. Beat for 1 minute. Mix in the lemon juice. The mixture will look curdled, but it will smooth out as it cooks.
2. In a medium, heavy-based saucepan, cook the mixture over low heat until it looks smooth. (The curdled appearance disappears as the butter in the mixture melts.) Increase the heat to medium, and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens, about 15 minutes. It should leave a path on the back of a wooden spoon and will read 170˚ on a thermometer. Do not let it boil.
3. Remove the curd from the heat. Stir in the lemon zest. Transfer the curd to a bowl. Press plastic wrap on the surface of the curd to prevent a skin from forming and chill the curd in the refrigerator. The curd will thicken as it cools. Covered tightly, the curd will keep in the refrigerator for a week and in the freezer for 2 months.
For my favorite tart crust, click here.
TAKE a LOOK:
6/14/2011 07:07:23 am
Congratulations to beautiful Claire.....and to you for creating such a magnificent display! I am glad it didn't rain on all this beauty!
6/14/2011 11:00:33 am
Wow...the pastries are beautiful!
6/14/2011 11:10:15 am
This was the most amazing party. I have been to Paris several times too and I thought I was there again on Sunday afternoon in Eileen's backyard. The pastries were over the top and so is her yard and garden. Daughters Whitney and Claire are also lovely young women. A beautiful day, the weather was actually perfect in that it wasn't sunny enough to melt all the buttercream frostings! Time to rest now Eileen, you deserve it.
6/14/2011 11:13:20 am
How sweet... Thank you Paula!
6/15/2011 11:02:29 am
Congratulations ! Your love for your family came through in each beautiful lovey amazing dessert. Thank you for sharing the pictures. You must be a proud mom. Your efforts were displayed and looked like a french bakery~fantastic job !
6/15/2011 11:14:37 am
Thank you, Camille!
6/17/2011 02:28:49 am
I am impressed! What beautiful goodies you have made! Just wish I had been there to sample them. Wonderful job!
6/17/2011 06:53:35 pm
What a beautiful party!
6/17/2011 11:07:03 pm
Leona - The wooden tiered stand is an old piece that belongs to my sister. She bought it several years ago on ebay.
6/19/2011 12:04:33 am
You had me a apricot galette! Actually I would have been asked to leave had I attended, being politely advised that one cake is not a single serving.
7/4/2011 04:33:52 am
Wow! What a display! Everything looks incredibly beautiful
10/23/2012 08:36:23 am
Eileen..it's Allison here (was Moyers ~ Henry's Mum) ~ found your blog after Mary Kay suggested I take a look. FANTASTIC!!!! BEAUTIFUL!!! The food for Claire's grad party looks amazing! So glad I can continue reading your blog! xx
5/26/2014 06:36:11 am
Hi Eileen, just wanted to say wow!!! What an amazing spread, it all looks incredible :) I love the doilies and particularly the rectangle shaped ones you had your raspberry shortbreads displayed in! I know it was a long time ago but any chance you remember where you got them from? My husband's best man is getting married and for one of his many functions, I wanted something similar to put an Asian sweet in. Thanks for any guidance in advance!
5/26/2014 06:44:11 am
Hi Ayesha -- I think I got those at Tuesday Morning many years ago. Whenever I run across something I know I'll eventually use, I buy it. Have you checked on Amazon? Also, do a search for pastry paper items. There are a lot of different sites that cater to pastry. Hope this helps!
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