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Pavé Citron

Pavé Citron

There is a boulangerie near the Rue Saint Maur metro that I used to pass everyday on the way to work. Despite seeing it all the time, I never went in until a warm day in March; 6 months after I started working nearby.

Everyone working at the restaurant went in for a wine tasting. The restaurant was closed as per usual on Mondays and since the weather was gorgeous, warm, and sunny we pulled some patio tables and chairs out onto the terrace and waited for the sommelier to arrive. While we waited I ran over to the boulangerie and ordered a selection of baked good. Croissants, pain au chocolat, pain au raisins and some square, flakey pastries coated with coarse sugar called pavé citron.

We sat on the terrace, ate pastries and tasted (drank) a lot of wine in the sun. When we’d finished a hard days work, a few of us too the metro to Parc de la Villette, stopping at a grocery store and kebab shop along the way because we needed more wine and snacks.

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I ate two pavé citron pastries that day; the flakey dough, coarse sugar and tangy lemon curd interior were way to delicious for me to stop at just one. After that day, I started stopping a little more frequently at the boulangerie by the metro in the mornings.

I sometimes make pavé citron at home when I find myself longing for a sunny spring day in Paris. I find that we North Americans find ourselves a little bit intimidated when faced with recipes that include things like like puff pastry but it really isn’t as finicky as you might think. Buy the frozen dough, follow the instructions on the package for defrosting it, roll it out and it’s ready to go.

I use the frozen puff pastry, lemon curd and an egg wash and cassonade, a coarse brown sugar. Below I’ve included a few photos of how seal up the pastries so the lemon curd remains inside.

Preheat your oven to 350 C.  Slice each piece of rectangular puff pastry into three long rectangles.  At the bottom of each of these rectangles, spoon 1-2 tablespoons of lemon curd onto the pastry.  

Fold the shorter end of the rectangle over the lemon curd as demonstrated in the photos below.  From there, continue folding the parcel of lemon curd over another two times so there are several layers of pastry surrounding the lemon curd.  Seal the sides so that the lemon curd can’t escape.  Repeat with each rectangle of pastry before doing the same for the second sheet of puff pastry. 

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Place the pastries on a tray lined with parchment paper.  

In a small bowl, beat one egg and a tablespoon of milk together.  Using a pastry brush, brush the egg wash onto the pastries then sprinkle on a generous amount of coarse sugar.  Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown and crisp.  Remove the pavé citron from the oven and leave them to cool on the tray for a minimum of fifteen minutes before digging in (the lemon curd will be way too hot straight from the oven).    

PAVÉ CITRON

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 sheets of frozen puff pastry
  • 2 tablespoons coarse sugar

EGGS WASH

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk

LEMON CURD

  • 2-3 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest (approx 2 lemons)
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice, (juice from 2 lemons)
  • 1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 4 eggs

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. For the lemon curd, In a medium sized sauce pot, mix together lemon zest, juice, sugar and butter until well combined. Then add in the eggs one at a time whisking to ensure the mixture does not split. Once this is all well combined, place the pot on the stove over low heat. Do not leave the stove at this point as the eggs could scramble. Stir the mixture continuously for about 10 minutes. The lemon curd should become thick like hollandaise sauce and coat the back of a spoon.
  2. Transfer your lemon curd to sterilized jars and get them in your fridge to cool.
  3. Preheat your oven to 350 C. Slice each piece of rectangular puff pastry into three long rectangles. At the bottom of each of these rectangles, spoon 1-2 tablespoons of lemon curd onto the pastry.
  4. Fold the shorter end of the rectangle over the lemon curd as demonstrated in the photos above. From there, continue folding the parcel of lemon curd over another two times so there are several layers of pastry surrounding the lemon curd. Seal the sides so that the lemon curd can't escape. Repeat with each rectangle of pastry before doing the same for the second sheet of puff pastry.
  5. Place the pastries on a tray lined with parchment paper.
  6. In a small bowl, beat one egg and a tablespoon of milk together. Using a pastry brush, brush the egg wash onto the pastries then sprinkle on a generous amount of coarse sugar. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. Remove the pavé citron from the oven and leave them to cool on the tray for a minimum of fifteen minutes before digging in (the lemon curd will be way too hot straight from the oven).
Pavé citron all beautifully baked and filled with lemon curd

Pavé citron all beautifully baked and filled with lemon curd

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