Is that a gorgeous photo, or what???
Let me assure you -- as beautiful as that fruit tart looks, the visuals can't begin to compare to how luscious it was!
Tom had gone to our favorite bakery, Decadent Delight, to pick up some Luv Bugs -- the adorable filled and frosted pastries we'd enjoyed so much last Valentine's Day that we absolutely wanted to have them again for our celebration.
But -- gasp! Decadent Delight was closed that day; they had been swarmed over the weekend, but we hadn't thought to go shopping quite that early ... we'd thought mid-morning on the day itself would be sufficient. Nope -- the word has gotten out, and pastry chef extraordinaire Bryant Stuckey's treats are now in high demand!
The Luv Bugs had made my AnnArbor.com listing of 5 Fabulous Favorite Foods Found in Ann Arbor as well as my Food Floozie 10 for '10 top ten list for the past year. They're sorta glorified and sophisticated Twinkie-like goodies, cakes with filling and frosting and adorable little faces. Alas, we will have to wait until next year ... :(
Instead, Tom went back over the weekend and bought two of the exceptional cinnamon rolls. (You do know that the proper way to eat these, of course, is to unswirl them, starting with the outer edge and working towards the center ...?)
But he also came back with two other treats, consolation prizes to relish instead of the Luv Bugs -- the gorgeous fruit tart above and one featuring caramelized pears.
The berries on the tart were so plump and so juicy that one could almost feel transported to summer when eating them. The colors were deep and intense, as were the flavors. And the pastry cream supporting them was truly a perfect complement -- thick, creamy and not so sweet that it competed with the stars of the show.
And then there was the crust, which was flaky and crumbly without shattering when broken either by a fork (if one is civilized) or by teeth (when one is so zealous that she picks up the tart to simply eliminate any barriers between her and her beloved!). It held its shape and supported the filling just as it should without making a mess. This excellent crust also made an appearance in the pear tart, which -- believe it or not -- even surpassed the fruit one ... who could have thought it possible?
The pears were perfectly cooked, just barely resistant to the bite, not mushy and not crisp. Pears, of course, have perhaps a 10-minute window in which they are neither hard as rocks nor slimy goo. To work within that brief time span and also poach them to an ideal consistency without overcooking them requires skill.
There was not a heavy, thick caramel layer in this tart, but rather a hint of sweetness to enhance the subtly flavored pears. And the buttery crust which wonderfully supported the fruit and pastry cream in our other lovely dessert also served the pears ideally.
So, whether you're looking for breakfast, for a treat to go with coffee, or simply an indulgence, I assure you that Decadent Delight will satisfy any whim.
416 West Huron Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48103