If you’ve ever walked by one of the 100+ locations of French bakery Maison Kayser, you've no doubt stopped in your tracks to gaze at the delicate pastries decorating the windowsill. Named one of the America’s best bakeries by USA Today, Maison Kayser’s breads and pastries are favorites of dessert lovers all around the world. And now, you can (attempt) to make these beautiful French creations at home.
Maison Kayser’s French Pastry Workshop ($19, amazon.com) is a step-by-step recipe guide where fourth-generation French baker Eric Kayser walks us through replicating 70 of the bakery’s most popular pastries. Though you might be intimidated by the pastry chef’s elaborate desserts, the cookbook is perfect for bakers at any level—Kayser provides detailed instruction and expert insight to make sure there’s something for all tastes.
One of our favorite sweets to satisfy a gourmet craving is the raspberry tart with shortbread crust. The combination of the sweet cream base, crumbly crust, and fresh superfruit will leave your taste buds wanting more. Plus, the recipe requires less than 30 minutes of prep time.
Scroll down to learn how to create the dessert people all over the world (in over 20 countries) rave about.
2 large egg yolks
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/3 cups whole milk
4 gelatin sheets, or 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp powdered gelatin
2 tablespoons very warm water
3 tablespoons plus 1/2 tsp unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream, well chilled
How to Make It
Make the cream base (ingredients to the left). In a medium bowl, vigorously whisk together the egg yolks and sugar just until lightened. Whisk in the cornstarch. In a saucepan, warm the milk and pour it slowly over the egg mixture while whisking constantly. Pour the entire mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until very thick, about 5 minutes.
Soak the gelatin sheets for 10 minutes in a bowl of cold water. (If using powdered gelatin, sprinkle it over 1/4 cup plus 2 1/2 tbsp (100 mL) of cold water and stir to moisten it; let soften for 5 minutes.) Squeeze the water from the gelatin sheets and add them to the warm water; stir to dissolve. Stir the gelatin mixture into the warm custard (or stir in the softened powdered gelatin, if using, until fully melted). Cool slightly. Add the butter pieces to the cream. Using an immersion blender, blend the custard until smooth and the butter is incorporated. Cover the surface with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
Preheat the oven to 340°F/170°C.
Make the shortbread pastry. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar, flour, salt, and baking powder on low speed, just until it has a sandy texture (you can also use a handheld mixer). Gently beat in the egg yolks, working the dough as little as possible.
Line the tart ring with the dough, line with foil or parchment paper, and pour ceramic pie weights on the paper. Spread them out evenly and prebake it for 15 minutes, following the step-by-step instructions on page 000. Cool completely. Remove the weights and ring.
Assemble the tart. Whip the cream and fold it into the cream base using a silicone spatula. Spread the cream evenly over the prebaked crust and place the raspberries on top. Drizzle the honey on the top. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
FOR THE SHORTBREAD PASTRY
1 stick minus 1 tbsp (3 1/2 oz/100 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup plus 3 tbsp plus 1/2 tsp (3 1/8 oz/90Serves 6 to 8 g) granulated sugar