23 Apr

Paris & a Carambar Pie

Posted in Cooking, Food, Personal

I dedicate this post to my sisters, my cousins, friends who shared our summers in France and everyone who loves France!

Ever since we were so young, our summer destination was always France. Most probably because my aunt has an apartment in Saint Genis Pouilly (a village close to Geneve).

Riding our bicycles in the neighborhood.
Daily trips to the boulangerie to buy bread and a few sweets for the day.
Peeking out the window and spraying people who pass with water.
Freaking out from our neighbor The Photographer.
enjoying fresh produce on the Sunday Market, meeting new friends and just being carefree!
Eating Carambars, Smurf Gummies and chewing Hollywood gum.

These summers still hold a special place in my heart!

—-

As we grew older, we were then introduced to Paris! And Oh what did Paris do to me! I fell in love instantly!

The cold winters with winds that gnaw on your bones yet you welcome them and nearly give them your arm and say Bon appétit!

Then there were those hot summers, the sun so hot you feel droplets of sweat trickling down your back! Well not really, that happens in Dubai… and not to me, I probably am some sort of reptile! I barely sweat! (Thank God)

The last time we visited Paris, I was 6 months pregnant with a bump so huge and swollen ankles! Every time I go up the steps of the metro stations, I need to lean on my husband or stop every few minutes! It’s not Dubai metro where you can walk as you wish! It’s Paris! People will stomp you!

All my previous visits to Paris I never went on the metro, I used to hate them. The train once closed on my shoulders in Germany! Half of us went to one city and the other half was stuck!
This happened to me in Dubai Metro too! One son with the father on another station and one son with me!


—-

I have been fascinated with French pastries for a very very long time and have reminisced on one day joining Le Cordon Bleu! But as they say in Arabic: The wind may blow against the wishes of the ship.
But I’m very thankful to what life has brought to me and where I am now. Cordon Bleu can wait! :D

—-
When I read on Jamie’s (Life’s a Feast) that she was hosting Meeta’s (What’s For Lunch Honey?) Monthly Mingle and it was about Paris, I definitely wanted participate. It was nearly the weekend and we were off to the beach house. I took that time to remember all the sweet memories of Paris and what I wanted to bake.

If you went to France as a child or have taken your children there, you might have come across the very famous French caramel sticks Carambar!

We grew up having those caramels, stocking ourselves with them when we leave to Dubai and ask everyone visiting France to get us some!

What would be more delicious than a Carambar Pie!
I have never imagined myself eating a pie that had chocolate in it and not fruit!
More importantly, I have never made pie before!
That’s my sister Shamma’s specialty!

I woke up yesterday morning, all geared up to start baking when Shamma brought her Galaxy Tab and said I should watch this French movie she had downloaded last night and watched. Perfect timing!

Intouchables.

A great movie! Worth watching!

When I started to watch I noticed something but stayed quiet. Cried and smiled inside. Then Shamma said… Look at the Omar Sy’s smile. I quickly said Marwan. Not wanting her to talk more about it or else I would have cried!
I enjoyed the movie twice as much as anyone else probably would because the Omar Sy’s eyes and smile reminded me of my cousin who passed away in October 2008. I have been missing him dearly.

Baking, watching this movie, and wanting to be in Paris with them made everything perfect! Even the Carambar Pie!

CARAMBAR PIE – Recipe adapted from Larousse

INGREDIENTS:

For the Crust:
1 Vanilla Pod
5 TBS Sugar
1 Cup Flour
1 Egg
1/4 Cup Butter – Softened and cut in small pieces

For the Carambar Ganache
1 Cup Heavy Cream
30 Carambar Caramels
400gm Milk Chocolate Chopped

METHOD

Prepare the pie crust:
1. In a small bowl, add the sugar and scrape the vanilla seeds into it. With your fingertips, rub the vanilla seeds into the sugar.

2. Sift the Flour directly on your work surface then rub the butter into it with your fingertips until you reach the consistency of fine bread crumbs.

3. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, then crack the egg into it and add the sugar. Mix with your fingers making sure you don’t knead the dough. Flatten the dough with the heel of your hand until it becomes even-textured. Form it into a ball, cover in plastic wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes.

4. Preheat the oven to 175C. Butter/Spray and flour the pie dish you’re using.

5. Roll out the dough and place into the pie dish and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Prepare the Carambar Ganache:
1. Place the cream in a saucepan and add the Carambars over low heat until melted. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate pieces.

2. Mix the chocolate with a wooden spoon until melted and the ganache looks glossy.

3. Pour the ganache onto the pie crust and allow to set for 3 hours.

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25 Comments »

Comments on this post

  1. Washy says:

    I never wanted to go to paris before, it didnt attract me.. But after seeing all those pix! I WANT!! Soon enshallah!

    That pie looks delicious <3

    1. LaMèreCulinaire says:

      You’ll love it! Inshallah after the baby comes!

      1. Meeta says:

        Oh my – this is seriously a decadent and “naughty” pie! I think i would run off and eat it all on my own. Shame we cannot get carambar here — need to get Jamie to bring some when we meet again so I can recreate this pie! Thanks for joining the MM Arwa!

        1. Fatma says:

          This post brought back lots of nice memories .. Good old days

          1. LaMèreCulinaire says:

            They are also sold online :)
            Thanks Meeta!

            1. LaMèreCulinaire says:

              a lot of them!!

              1. Sandy says:

                I am carambars- addicted and now craving your tarte. Every year I brought lots of carambars with me from france. But since last year I can order them online and can receive them in germany too. I made carambars-macarons last year and it was a heavenly indulgence. Warmly, Sandy

                1. LaMèreCulinaire says:

                  Wow! Carambar Macarons! That must be delicious!
                  Thanks for commenting!

                  1. Shafeena (@shafeename) says:

                    That is a beautiful post! love “Peeking out the window and spraying people who pass with water” i remember doing that :)… in india though! oh the memories of childhood stay with you for life, i feel the same way about london! lovely recipe! i have never had carambar ! they must be delicious!

                    1. LaMèreCulinaire says:

                      I’ll save some carambars for you! :p
                      I’ve never been to London but many of my friends feel the same way you do!

                      1. Jamie says:

                        Wow! What a decadent pie, worthy of the best pastry shop in Paris! What a wonderful post and makes me want to go back and rediscover this beautiful city! So so happy you baked this stunning pie (Carambar! Who would have thought?!) for my Monthly Mingle! And thanks for bringing me to your beautiful blog!

                        1. Manar says:

                          That looks AMAZING!!! I am definitely going to try and make it this weekend and am going to rent the movie too! Thanks for a great weekend plan:) xx

                          1. LaMèreCulinaire says:

                            Thanks Jamie for hosting the Monthly Mingle & I am glad you liked the pie!

                            1. LaMèreCulinaire says:

                              Sounds like a great plan!
                              Thanks for commenting!

                              1. Rosa says:

                                A marbelous tart! So devilish.

                                I have to see that movie.

                                Cheers,

                                Rosa

                                1. LaMèreCulinaire says:

                                  Devilish indeed!
                                  I ate the last of it a while ago!

                                  1. Sayana says:

                                    That pie looks decadent Arwa. I just want to grab a fork, sit some place quiet and eat in solitude. You’re post is tempting me to try a hand at the Monthly Mingle. :)

                                    1. LaMèreCulinaire says:

                                      You should! There are a few days left in April & the monthly mingle is so much fun!

                                      1. NIna says:

                                        Wow a stunning post…great photographs Arwa. I need to look for Carambars now….yum!

                                        1. LaMèreCulinaire says:

                                          Thanks a lot Nina!

                                          1. oumhamna says:

                                            Lovely post, thats is my everyday life here in France! Happy to know that I am not the only Smurf Gummies lover

                                            1. LaMèreCulinaire says:

                                              France has something magical! We’re instant friends since we share the love of smurf gummies!

                                              1. Helene Dsouza I Masala Herb says:

                                                ohlalalala!
                                                Carambart carambart!!! I didnt have those sweets in ages!
                                                I pretty mich have similiar memories of my childhood in france. The first thing we would buy was carambart, right behind my grandmothers house. hihi

                                                Gorgeous photos Arwa, especially the first one.

                                                I am sorry for your loss. I know how difficult it is to loose a beloved family member….
                                                I know it hasnt been a recent one, but wounds take time to heal…

                                                Your carambar pie looks decadent, absolutly to my liking. I am a huge tart and pie fan and I cant wait to try out your recipe Arwa.

                                                Lucky u to meet Meeta and Jamie!! ;)

                                                1. Sally - My Custard Pie says:

                                                  This tart looks so rich and decadent. Loved this collection of memories.

                                                  1. Dima's Kitchen says:

                                                    I am so trying this Tart looks really appetising, yum… Will have to sort the Carambart though! Haven’t had these in ages, thanks for reminding me of this flavour I had totally forgotten!!
                                                    PS your photos are gorgeous :)


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