Eating & Drinking

THE DISH: In praise of Les Fougères’ passion fruit tart

By Cindy Deachman
Passion fruit tart ready for garnishes at Les Fougères. Photography by Marc Fowler/Metropolis Studio.

Twenty years ago, British food writer Jane Grigson complained of the high price of passion fruit in London. Few had tasted its virtues, and to this day, hardly anyone knows this fruit. The size of a golf ball and pitted like one, albeit irregularly, the passion fruit has a skin like an old, battered leather suitcase in purply black. Cut open and inhale the wild pungency of — candy! Scoop out the yellow-green pulp. Fruity, sour, and tropical flavours come at you, all in one go. At Les Fougères, pastry chef Ulrich Habbay (from France) makes a curd out of the fruit. (Just like lemon curd — which is also on the menu.) Tart shells are then filled — oh, what buttery pastry, as if to die and head off to heaven! Upon plating, garnish is added: raspberry purée, whole berries and, perched on top, a drizzled lattice of bittersweet chocolate. Don’t forget the dusting of icing sugar. Now, isn’t that a dainty dish to set before a king! Or a queen. $8.50.

Les Fougères, 783, rte. 105, Chelsea, 819-827-8942,