I couldn’t be more excited to review this new book, My Paleo Patisserie, by Jenni Hulet, aka The Urban Poser. I wanted to start off with a lengthy intro about how I’ve long admired Jenni’s photography & recipes. Or how I’ve so enjoyed getting to know her family better via Instagram (it’s weird how you connect with people & feel like you know them). But really, how I feel about Jenni personally doesn’t even compare to the majesty & work of art that is My Paleo Patisserie. So I figured I’d just let the book speak for itself.

Let me also add in the fact that I am a hopeless baker. I’ve said it time & time again. I did have a brief stint decorating my kids birthday cakes into wild creations (there was a pineapple once & a rocket ship…) but I’ve never graduated much past the facade. That is to say, I could never craft anything from scratch without a great deal of help. I say all of this because I was quite nervous about being able to recreate any of the recipes from this book! On first glance through the book, you can’t help but be taken aback with the gorgeous photography. Jenni has a way of capturing light that looks so etherial & effortless. But once you’ve moved past the gorgeous shots on almost every page, you begin taking a closer look & remember that all of these super model pastry creations are also gluten & dairy free. Wowzers. If you’ve ever made a coconut flour cake that came out like a brick, you can likely relate to me reaction.

Beautiful pastry creations are no longer only afforded to those who can eat gluten & dairy. My Paleo Patisserie has made special occasion (or every day occasion) creations accessible for all. And what a gift to give. Especially for those of us who know what it’s like to need something different. Through Jenni’s own personal story with health issues & recovery, she’s found her voice in being able to bring something special to the table for everyone. Including the smallest member of our family, Arthur, who can’t tolerate gluten or nuts. We’ve been working for 2 years to support his gut health & make many new foods available to him but nuts remain elusive. Which, honestly, isn’t a huge deal. Until you need a cake. Then, you’re faced with some issues.

I made several recipes from My Paleo Patisserie & all of them glorious, easy to understand with clear directions on how to execute. I wouldn’t lie. I did not have a single glitch or hiccup when making any of these creations. This from a girl who’s set an oven on fire…

NEAPOLITAN CAKE WITH RASPBERRY MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM

CITRON TART WITH NUT FREE SWEET CRUST

And Jenni was amazing enough to let me share the recipe for this Citron Tart!

Curds are creamy, egg yolk–based fillings that come in many flavors. Their fresh and often tart taste makes them a perfect base for fruit tarts, as well as a delicious filling for sweet cakes.

LEMON CURD

INGREDIENTS

  • ½ cup (120 ml) lemon juice
  • ½ cup (120 ml) maple syrup or honey
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 large eggs
  • Pinch of salt
  • 6 tablespoons (72 g) palm shortening or ghee
  • SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: Candy thermometer
  • YIELD: About 1 cup (240 ml)

METHOD

  1. Set aside a medium-sized bowl and a fine-mesh sieve. Bring about 2 inches (5 cm) of water to a simmer in a medium-sized saucepan.
  2. In a large heatproof bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, maple syrup, egg yolks, whole eggs, and salt. Whisk in the shortening by the tablespoon, then place the bowl over the simmering water and continue whisking till completely melted. Continue heating the mixture, whisking constantly, till it thickens and reaches about 170°F (76°C) on a candy thermometer, 7 to 10 minutes.
  3. Pour the curd through the fine-mesh sieve and chill. It will thicken further as it cools. Store the curd in a covered container in the fridge for up to a week.

NUT-FREE SWEET CRUST

This is a very delicate crust made with coconut flour. It can be used in place of any of the sweet or shortbread crusts found in this book, but it works best when it is precooked and then filled.

INGREDIENTS

  • ½ cup (60 g) coconut flour
  • ⅓ cup (40 g) arrowroot flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ cup (90 g) palm shortening or ghee, softened
  • 2 large eggs, cold
  • 1 tablespoon maple sugar
  • Cold water as needed
  • YIELD: One 9-inch (23-cm) crust, four 4-inch (10-cm) crusts, five or six 3-inch (7.5-cm) crusts, or 12 mini crusts using a 12-well mini tart pan

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (163°C).
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours and salt till blended. Add the remaining ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon till a soft, wet dough has formed. Gather up the dough, wrap in plastic, and chill for about 10 minutes.
  3. Press the dough evenly into the desired pan(s) to a thickness of about ⅛ inch (3 mm). If using several smaller pans, divide the dough into equal portions first.
  4. Prick all over with a fork and chill in the freezer for about 10 minutes.
  5. Bake for the following times or till golden all over:
  • mini (2 inches/5 cm), 15 to 18 minutes
  • small (3 inches/7.5 cm), 18 to 20 minutes
  • medium (4 inches/10 cm), 20 to 22 minutes
  • large (9 inches/23 cm), 22 to 25 minutes
  • Times can vary according to the thickness of the dough. For best results, rotate the pan(s) halfway through baking.
  1. Remove from the oven, let cool in the pan(s), and then gently remove from the pan(s). A larger crust can remain in the pan till filled and/or served, to protect the crust from breaking.

CITRON TART

This classic French tart can be found at patisseries and cafés year-round. It is especially delicious topped with Sweetened Whipped Cream (page 48).

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 (9-inch/23-cm) Shortbread Crust (page 106), prebaked
  • 1 recipe Lemon Curd (page 52)
  • 1 (3-ounce/85-g) bar bittersweet chocolate (optional)
  • SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: 9-inch (23-cm) round tart pan with removable base. Small pastry bag fitted with a small, plain, round tip (optional)
  • YIELD: One 9-inch (23-cm) tart (serving 6 to 8)

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (163°C).
  2. Prepare the lemon curd and, while it is still warm, strain it directly into the cooled crust. Spread out the curd with a spoon or gently tilt the pan from side to side. This will form a thin layer of curd and make for a tall-looking crust.
  3. Place the tart in the oven for 5 minutes to set the curd. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature.
  4. If desired, and if you are adventurous, write “Citron” over the curd with melted chocolate. To do so, melt the chocolate over gentle heat, let it cool slightly to thicken up some, and then scoop the chocolate into the pastry bag and go for it.
  5. This tart is best eaten the day it is made but can be stored, covered, in the fridge for 1 to 2 days. The crust will soften over time.
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