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Best Tarts in Paris

I've already blogged about how to find a good boulangerie in Paris, but what's even rarer are truly fine tarts. 

One of my favorite treats "back-home" is a really good Chicken Pot Pie.  One that has flaky buttery crust, succulent chicken breast pieces, perfectly cooked peas and carrots all covered in a velvety chicken gravy.  It's something that is nearly always homemade.  But if you're lucky there's someone in your town who's dedicated their professional life to the task.  

It's the same in Fance.  Most often the best tarts are made at home.  My ex, Y, is the master of a namesake apple tart.  A sublime combination of paper thin slices of Golden Delicious apples and sugary pâte sablé crust rolled very thin. While baking, the apples and the raw sugar sprinkled on top melt into themselves forming a layer of intense apple flavor.  A slice served with a generous ladle of Crème Frâiche Fermier (an artesian crème frâiche found here in good cheese shops) and you've died and gone to heaven.

Like a frozen Pot Pie, what you find in most boulangeries are an uninteresting selection of the usual quiches and fruit tarts.  On the sweet side, Apple, Apricot and Plum are typical with Quiche Lorraine (bacon and cheese), Goat Cheese and Spinach or Emmenthal/Leek rounding out the savory choices.  All are edible, but they are rarely delicious and never sublime.  They seem to be a more family style alternative to an extravagant Gâteau à l'Opéra or other similar grand classic.

One Sunday a couple of weeks ago, I was walking in the back of the 3rd Arrondissement near the Marché des Enfants Rouge.  This is one of the oldest markets in Paris dating from the mid 17th Century.  Strange name though, Red Childrens Market.  There's a blog post in that one.

I happened across a new storefront I hadn't noticed before.  It's called Tartes Kluger and didn't look anything like a bakery. It consists of a largish room in front with a row of half-empty bookshelves on one side and a table seating 12 on the other.  There is a small counter in the back of the space. Huh? Didn't quite know what to think, but I saw a small sign in the windowsill that gave me a hint.  Tartes Kluger - Fabrique de Tartes.  Roughly translated "Kluger Tart Factory."

I was immediately intrigued and vowed to return.  When I returned, I realized that there were no tarts out on display.  This was no ordinary bakery.  What they offer are tarts to order and have roughly twenty choices - ten sweet and ten savory.  They also have a Table d'Hote.  This is the French term for a family style eating experience.  The small chalkboard offered two sweet choices that day.  Apricot+Almond and Dark Chocolate Mousse.  A generous slice with a cup of coffee or tea is 6 euros served at the large common table.

Both were excellent.  The apricot had a crispy sugary crust layered with Almond cream, very ripe and tasty apricots, and toasted almond slices.  The Chocolate Mousse Tart could be more aptly named Dark Chocolate Truffle Tart.  Just the right amount of dark chocolate filling baked into the crumbly toasted-brown crust.  Heaven!  The owner told me that in the summer they alternate between apricot and fig depending on what is best at the market each day.  I can't wait to try the fig.

They also offer a couple of the savory tarts each day too.  There is the choice of a slice of tart with salad for 6 Euros or one slice of savory followed by one slice of sweet for 14 euros.

Not one to suggest things I haven't tasted, I ended up returning twice more the same week to taste a few other choices and ultimately ordering three for a party.  Apricot, Chocolate and the ultimate crowd pleaser -- a Passion Fruit Tarte with crumbled hazlenut meringue and lime zest on top. (pictured above)

The excellent tarts paired with a casual friendly atmosphere make it a worth a trip.  In addition, the  welcoming staff speak English quite well.  It's just a ways due north of the Louvre and just about a block south of the Place de la Republique.

Practical info:

Tartes Kluger - 6, rue de Forez - 75003 Paris (3rd Arrondissement) 

Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday from 10:00am to 8:00pm and Sundays from 10:00am to 3:00pm (note They've only been open a short time so it's probably worth confirming the opening hours before making the trip)

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