Praline Tarts, Vieux Lyon
So as you all know, I was recently on a trip to France and stopped by Lyon, which is a sort of the gastronomic capital of France. Every restaurant I went to, I would see "praline tarts" in the dessert portion of the menu, so I decided to give it a try. To my surprise, this looked nothing like the pralines I was used to and in fact, the tart came bright red to the table.
Funny story was that I immediately thought, geez what have I gotten myself into, but also I had the hardest time cutting into this tart. We'll talk about how to make it later, but this restaurant probably overcooked their filling because the staff had to bring it back to the kitchen and cut it with a big kitchen knife. I was under the impression that I should just switch desserts because something was clearly not right. Anyways, the staff gave the tart back to me all cut nicely and so I "reluctantly" ate it. MY GOSH! This tasted amazing! The filling, which wasn't the ones that contained the whole almonds in it, was like eating the perfect buttery caramel candy - only the butter wasn't overpowering and the caramel wasn't too too sweet. Clearly, I was wrong about something being "wrong."
I later went to Les Halles de Lyon, which is their biggest indoor food market, and Vieux Lyon, which is the old city and saw a ton of Praline Tarts. The color was bright cherry red and the displays were stunning.
Praline Tart Displays in Les Halles de Lyon
A Fresh Tart Ready for Sale
When I got back to the states, I said I HAD to find the recipe for these tarts and make it at home. Well, after a bit of researching, I found out that the filling is simply the red almond praline candies I saw on the streets of Lyon and heavy cream. That's it! I included the recipe from the Lyon city website below. Now as simple as this recipe is, the brilliance of the tart comes from the natural red food coloring from the candy almonds, and we don't make red candy almonds in the states! Luckily, I bought a bag there, but after trying the candy, I think it tastes a lot like our white yogurt candy almonds (and dare I say, sort of like almond m&ms, but without the chocolate of course). I'll have to test out the recipe using our US candy almonds because I think the fillers we put in ours will affect the texture of the final caramel filling, but I'll save that for a later date...after I make the tarts first with my red almond candies!
Almond Praline Candies
Praline Tart Recipe from the City Lyon Website
Ingredients for the dough: - 320g of butter (warm) - 5g dof salt - 200g of icing sugar - 66g od almond powder - 2 eggs - 533g of flour - 1 vanilla bean
Ingredients for the mix: - 500g of liquid fresh creme - 500g of french pink pralines
The evening before, prepare the dough: 1. In this order, mix: the butter with the icing sugar and the salt. Open the vanilla bean. With a knife, scratch the inside of the bean to extract the past. Mix it to the dough. Then, add the almond powder and mix again.
2.Add the eggs one by one while mixing until you get a consistent and compact mix. Keep the mix in the refrigerator the whole night, covered by a plastic film.
On D-Day: Cook the paste: Preheat the oven at160°C 1. Position the paste in the appropriate dish after rolling out the dough. 2. Cook for 30 minutes at 160°C
Prepare the mix: 1. Boil the fresh creme in a large saucepan. add the pink pralines and let it mix heat for around 5-10 minutes 2. Pour the mix in the paste delicately 3. Cook the tart 5 minutes in the oven heated at 200°C. 4. Let it rest 4h in the refrigerator and savor!