While I admit to going overboard with the pictures today, choosing was challenging. If you enjoy these photos, Saint Malo is definitely a place for you to visit. The pictures pale in comparison to its beauty and there is truly something there for everyone. It is the home to the largest marina in France and an hour’s drive from Mont St. Michel. The sunrises, sunsets and endless miles of beaches and so much more make it a site for romance. Its astonishing splendor steeped in centuries of history will certainly inspire and stir you. If you tire of soaking up the local culture, shopping and café’s the glorious beaches are only steps away.
The National Fort is a brief stroll during low tide and gives an excellent view of the harbor. Make sure to allow yourself plenty of time for wandering down cobbled streets, time for the best crepes, for just losing yourself (or for some, finding yourself) in this enchanting fortress city.
St-Malo was built in the Middle Ages a fortified island at the mouth of the Rance. It was built using the same granite stone as Mont St-Michel. Modern St-Malo traces its source back to a monastic colony established by saints in the sixth century. It later became infamous due to the ferocious pirates/mariners who had established themselves there. In 1590, St-Malo declared itself an independent republic that lasted for four years. English ships attempting to pass the Channel were forced to pay tribute.
St-Malo receives more visitors than any other place in Brittany. The credit for its popularity is often given to the magnificent old citadel. While I can see that there is some truth to that, it offers so much more. Brittany itself is an enigma in France. Its treasures await you regardless of it being your first time or a yearly tradition. No matter what you choose to do with your time here, the memories will linger on.
The region of Brittany is distinct from other regions of France because of its Celtic heritage. Approximately thirty percent of its population speak Breton a Celtic language similar to Cornish and Welsh. The language, customs, and costumes are preserved mainly in the more isolated west. However, you can find the beautiful and intricate handmade laces in numerous shops around Brtittany. Rennes is Brittany’s route focus, traditional capital, and cultural center. Its university is a center of Celtic studies.
For the crust: 175g plain flour/ 6 ounces,115g /4 ounces butter, room temperature, 25g sour cream / 1 ounce
For the filling: About 6 medium tart apples, peeled, pitted and sliced, 3 large egg yolks 145g, sour cream/ 5 ounces (crème fraise), 150g granulated sugar / 5 and 1/3 ounces, 35g plain flour / 1 and a half ounces (about 1 heaping tablespoon)
For the glaze: 160g apricot preserves or jam / 5 ounces 1 tbsp Calvados (apple brandy) Whipped topping, for garnish.
For the crust: 1) Preheat the oven to 190°C/Gas 5 or 375ºF. 2) Place the flour, butter, and sour cream in a food processor and pulse to combine. 3) When the dough has formed a ball, pat with lightly floured hands into the bottom and sides of an ungreased tart pan with a removable bottom and 1cm sides, or a round au gratin dish. 4) Bake for about 18 mins, until the crust is set but not browned. Let cool while preparing the filling. 5) Lower the oven temperature to 180°C/Gas 4 or 350ºF.
For the filling: 1) Peel and thickly slice the apples. Arrange the apple slices in overlapping circles on top of the crust, until completely covered. Overfill the crust, as apples will shrink during cooking. 2) Combine the egg yolks, sour cream/crème fraise, sugar, and flour and beat until smooth. Pour the mixture over the apples. Place the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake for about 1 hr, until the custard sets and is pale golden in colour. Cover with an aluminium foil tent if the crust gets too dark. Transfer the tart pan to a wire rack to cool. When cool, remove the side wall of the pan. 3) To make the glaze, combine the preserves or jam and calvados. Spread with a pastry brush over the top of the warm tart. Serve the tart warm, at room temperature or chilled.
Variations: I like to add the zest of an orange or lime and some grated fresh ginger to the custard mixture.
years. Now, dear friends, I wish them only the best and look forward to the next visit when we will explore the difference between the various types of patisserie.