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Simply Sensational Desserts

Simply Sensational Desserts

by Francois Payard, Tish Boyle, Tim Moriarty, Tim Moriarty (With), Alain Ducasse (Preface by)
He was named Pastry Chef of the Year by both the James Beard Foundation and Bon Appétit. Payard Pâtisserie and Bistro in New York has been hailed as a "culinary Shangri-la" by New York magazine. His dazzling cookies, cakes, and tarts, with their intricate detail and explosion of flavor, are coveted coast-to-coast. And now,


He was named Pastry Chef of the Year by both the James Beard Foundation and Bon Appétit. Payard Pâtisserie and Bistro in New York has been hailed as a "culinary Shangri-la" by New York magazine. His dazzling cookies, cakes, and tarts, with their intricate detail and explosion of flavor, are coveted coast-to-coast. And now, François Payard shares his breathtaking desserts with home cooks.

Yes, his innovative recipes are remarkably simple. Here's what America's leading chefs are saying about François Payard and this stunning collection of spectacular desserts:

"François Payard is the best pastry chef that France ever exported to tantalize the American palate. From the useful chapters on technique, equipment, and basics, down to the many innovative and contemporary creations with clearly written recipes, this book is a must for the passionate baker. Simply Sensational Desserts will make François's mouth-watering desserts the hit of your next dinner party."
--Daniel Boulud, chef/owner of Daniel and Café Boulud

"It was a great day for New York when François Payard brought his whisks and wizardry to town. Now, all of America can rejoice in his creations. With this wide-ranging collection, François shares his extraordinary talent and surprises us with his knack for simplifying even the most sophisticated sweets. There isn't a single recipe for one of his astonishing desserts that can't be made--perfectly--by anyone with an oven, a mixer, and a sweet tooth. Simply Sensational Desserts is simply swell.
--Dorie Greenspan, author of Baking with Julia and Desserts by Pierre Hermé

"I have always been inspired by the brilliance and passion of François Payard. His depth of knowledge is what we all aspire to. Through his accessible and easy-to-use Simply Sensational Desserts, François can now inspire everyone--pastry chefs and home cooks alike. What a treat!"
--Claudia Fleming, pastry chef, Gramercy Tavern

With fifty full-color photographs and 140 simple, spectacular recipes, information on ingredients and equipment, innovative techniques and decorating ideas, and an entire chapter on basic pastry recipes, this long-awaited collection guarantees simply sensational desserts every time.

Editorial Reviews

Nancy Rommelmann
This book is perfect for the occational home baker, as well as bakers who are ready to expand their expertise.
Bon Appétit
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
There is no doubt that Fran ois Payard can conjure up complex French desserts: he does it every day at his eponymous p tisserie and bistro in New York City. Here, however, he takes on a different challenge, and succeeds brilliantly, creating less complicated recipes that home cooks can easily follow. Some of the most interesting offerings are fruit soups such as Spiced Cherry Soup, Rhubarb-Lemongrass Soup and Fricassee of Strawberries with Balsamic Vinegar. Payard is equally inventive with tarts, coming up with a rich Hazelnut Tart with Chocolate Chantilly Cream; a traditional Mediterranean Swiss Chard Tart culled from the south of France; and a Rice Tart based on a packaged custard dessert Payard loved as a child. Even souffl s seem less daunting with Payard's careful instructions. A Warm Harlequin Souffl is a praline-and-vanilla checkerboard. Many dessert cookbooks make readers drool; this one will actually help them bake. It suffers from none of the endless ingredient lists so endemic to cookbooks by chefs, and Payard's instructions and supporting materials on equipment and ingredients are superb. (Sept.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
At first glance, this beautifully illustrated collection of French desserts from pastry chef Payard appears to be suited for only the most accomplished cooks. However, Payard's minimalist approach (most recipes involve only five or six steps) allows even a beginning cook to master most of these recipes. The book is organized by topic (dessert soup, cookies and petits fours, etc.) and includes several nice introductory chapters on techniques and ingredients. There is also a list of resources for the more exotic ingredients. Highly recommended for public libraries.--Debra Mitts, Barrington Area Lib., IL Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

Crown Publishing Group
Publication date:
Edition description:
First Edition
Product dimensions:
8.08(w) x 10.32(h) x 0.76(d)

Read an Excerpt

Lemon Tart

Pastry chefs sometimes tend to make things too complex, and this perfect, perfectly simple lemon tart is evidence. When I first started making it, both customers and staff agreed that it was better than the labor-intensive tart we were serving in the shop at the time. And some chefs are afraid of tartness. But when people want lemon, they don't want to eat a bowl of sugar. With this tart, you taste the lemon. It is perfectly balanced between the sweet and sour. You want the richness of the lemon without it being too acid, and the rich buttery crust cuts the acidity too.

Most lemon tart recipes are made wirth lemon curd, which involves a lot of cooking, but this is a streamlined version. The filling is a variation of flan, the Spanish custard. The tart shell can be made the day before, and so can the filling, but they should be stored separately.


Special Equipment:
Channel Knife

Grated zest and juice of 3 lemons
3 large eggs
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon (112 grams) of sugar
3 tablespoons (43 grams) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces One 9 and 1/2-inch tart shell made from Sweet Tart Dough, prebaked


1 lemon
1/4 cup (60 grams) Apricot Glaze Mint leaves

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

2. Fill a medium saucepan one-third full with water and bring to a simmer. Put the zest and lemon juice in a medium bowl and whisk in the eggs. Add the sugar and butter and place th ebowl over the simmering water; the water must not touch the bottom of the bowl. Cook, whisking constantly until the butter is completely melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove the bowl from the pan of hot water and allow the mixture to cool for 15 minutes.

3. Place the prebaked tart shell on a baking sheet. Pour the filling into the shell and bake the tart for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the center is just set. Cool the tart completely on a wire rack.

4.Make the garnish: Using a channel knife, cut lengthwise grooves in the lemon, removing six strips of rind. Cut a crosswise slice from the center of the lemon and place it in the center of the tart. Slice the remaining lemon halves lengthwise in half and then cut the sections into half-moons. Arrange the slices around the edge of the tart with the cut sides out.

5. If necessary, rewarm the apricot glaze over low heat or in the microwave. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the top of the tart with the warm apricot glaze. Garnish with a few mint leaves.

Meet the Author

François Payard is the chef and owner of Payard Pâtisserie and Bistro in New York City. He is the recipient of numerous national awards, including the 1995 James Beard Award for Pastry Chef of the Year. He was also named Pastry Chef of the Year by Bon Appétit in 1998. A native of Nice and a third-generation pâtissier, he and his wife, Alexandra, live in New York City.

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