A Small Slice of Versailles

The culture of the French court inspires two apricot desserts: one elaborate, the other more attainable.

Comments: 7

  1. The problem with this recipe will be to find GOOD apricots. My memory of a summer in the USA ( Martha's Vineyard, 1996) was the total absence of really tasty and ripe fruit. Or vegetables for that matter, apart from corn. But the lobsters and the steaks were great! I guess if you cook the apricots in syrup long enough, they might acquire some sweetness.

  2. You are right. Tree ripened apricots will make any recipe divine. I poached store bought apricots last night, hoping to coax flavor from them....total disappointment. How I wish I still had a backyard tree!

  3. I am indeed fortunate to live in the Santa Clara Valley, where there are still a few remaining farms that grow Blenheim apricots. These should be ready for harvest towards the end of June. While I was at Novakovich Orchards in Saratoga, I picked up a new book titled For the Love of Apricots - Recipes and Memories of the Santa Clara Valley (fortheloveofapricots.com). Gorgeous cookbook with recipes from breakfast to cocktails!

  4. "Fresh" apricots are always disappointing. What should be a intense flavour is in fact dull or nonexistant. Want real apricot taste? Drink good apricot nectar. Haven't met a tasty apricot in decades.

  5. How interesting. I immediately read this article based on the headline and photo. I was in Versailles, only once, in 1971. After visiting the palace, which I have very little memory of, I went into the city/village itself to a bakery/ cafe and had a slice of an apricot tart. I have never forgotten it! As I recall the apricots were baked into a custardy base. It was divine, and all these years I thought it was just a fluke that I found this apricot tart. It was the highlight of my outing to Versailles.

  6. Dear NY Times, Please do a follow-up article (with photos) about the Visitors to Versailles pastries served at the evening event referenced in the article. Thank you.

  7. I second wholeheartedly the comment by PeppaD of Los Angeles. A picture is worth one-thousand words, and there must be paintings of the elaborate deserts served in Versailles at the time of Ancien régime.