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News/Recipe: Mad for Mado

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In the last two weeks, everywhere I went in Columbia County—shopping in Chatham, the wonderful “Taste of Columbia County Bounty” event, friends’ dinner party—I was accosted by foodies practically vibrating with news:  Mado Patisserie was open on Chatham’s Main Street.  One devotee went so far as to say that everyone in Chatham is complaining that they’ve gained weight since the new shop opened for business on July 12 (this from a man who makes regular stops at the patisserie following his morning workouts). 

The woman causing all the excitement is master baker Madeline Delosh, a ten-year weekend resident of Ghent.  In truth, Chatham residents have been enjoying Delosh’s work since last summer: she was a regular vendor at the Friday afternoon Chatham farmer’s market until, following a long-held dream, she decided to open her own shop.  Delosh counts among her mentors legendary New York chef and restaurateur Jean-Georges Vongerichten.  She worked for the Alsatian chef in several positions, including pastry chef at the elegant bistro JoJo, and he always encouraged her to strike out on her own.  He also gave her a piece of advice she’s taken to heart.  “He said, ‘start small,’ ” says Delosh.  ” ‘You can always add, but you don’t want to get overwhelmed and have to take things away.’ ” 
Rural Intelligence Food
Indeed, Delosh has started out with a concise menu of tarts, tiny mousse cakes and various muffins, scones, and flavored brioches.  Everything is made fresh and from scratch, including her puff pastry.  She’d rather sell out of an item, she says, than allow pastries to sit for an extra day.  Her creations are both delicate and intensely flavored: bright lemon tarts perfectly balance sour and sweet (recipe below); sweet plum tarts accented with almonds, and apricot tarts with brilliant green pistachios.  One customer favorite is the chocolate tart, a rich ganache filling in a chocolate crust.  Another hit is the caramel walnut tart, a sort of French take on a pecan pie, with caramel, walnuts and a bit of almond cream.  Muffins are also popular—she says Vongerichten once told her he hadn’t eaten a good muffin since she left his employ.  On the savory side, Delosh has a lovely leek and parmesan tart, and plans to offer small pizzas this fall.

Native New Yorker Delosh is an avowed Francophile, and her creations employ classical French technique infused with an appealing, modern aesthetic.  Prior to training as a chef, Delosh studied graphic design, and this expertise is evident in the design of both the pastries and the bakery itself—a bright white jewelbox accented with marble and tile, every inch precisely planned to allow Delosh to cook and sell with maximum efficiency.  There’s no indoor seating, but on clear days, Delosh places chairs and tables out on the sidewalk, turning that spot on Main Street into a tiny swath of her beloved France.

Many of Mado’s elaborate creations are, truly, best not attempted at home.  But this version of her lemon tart, a firm sweet shell filled with fresh lemon curd, is quick to make and a delicious finish for any summer meal.

Mado’s Lemon Tart (adapted from Madeline Delosh)
Rural Intelligence Food
Sweet Tart Dough:
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 pinch salt
1 egg
9 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Sift the sugar, flour and salt together.

Cut the butter into chunks and place in the bowl of a food processor.  Process until smooth.  Add the egg and the flour mixture and process again, pulsing off and on.  The mixture will quickly come together to look like large crumbs, but will hold together in a smooth mass when pressed with your fingers.  On a piece of plastic wrap, gather the dough into a flattened ball, wrap tightly, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Roll the chilled dough out between two sheets of wax paper to a thickness of 3/8 inch.  Press into a 9 inch tart pan (with removable bottom) and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Line the chilled shell with parchment and weight with pie weights, uncooked rice or dried beans.  Bake for 20 minutes and then remove from the oven.  Remove the parchment and weights and return to the oven for an additional 20 minutes, or until just golden.  Remove and cool completely on a rack before filling.

The filling can be prepared while the tart shell is baking, or while it cools, and held covered tightly in the refrigerator until the shell is ready to be filled.

Lemon Curd:
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (approximately 3 medium lemons)
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Optional garnish:
Fresh berries or thin strips of lemon zest (use a vegetable peeler or sharp paring knife to remove them from the lemon)

Put the juice, sugar and eggs into a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly.  The sauce will thicken to the consistency of pastry cream.  Remove from heat and whisk in the butter.  Press through a fine mesh strainer with the back of wooden spoon or a rubber spatula to remove any lumps. Spoon the curd into the shell, and garnish if desired with fresh berries, or thin strips of lemon zest. Paige Orloff

10 Main Street, Chatham; 212.683.1649.
Thursday - Sunday 10 - sold out

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Posted by Marilyn Bethany on 08/07/08 at 06:26 AM • Permalink