Learning the Art of French Cooking
June 2, 2020
Why go to Paris when you can enjoy French culture at home? In the classroom, it is often difficult to experience other cultures firsthand. In world language classes, students learn how to speak and read other languages, but may not be directly exposed to other cultures. On April 29, the French Club brought French culture to students’ homes through a fun, hands-on activity.
The current pandemic has created an unfamiliar world, leaving many uneasy and disheveled. It is essential for everyone to maintain routines and engage with others to continue to remain positive. To encourage members of the MBS community to do so, the French Club held a Zoom meeting run by Dr. Gorica Lalic, an MBS French teacher. In the meeting, Dr. Lalic taught students how to bake fruit tarts (see the recipe below), one of her favorite childhood recipes. Dr. Lalic chose a recipe she believed was both enjoyable and easy to prepare, as she believes that “cooking should not be complicated.” Dr. Lalic directed students through the baking process, making herself available for help at any time. She engaged in conversations in French with those who wanted to practice the language while baking. The event was both educational and delicious!
Instead of limiting the meeting to only French students, all MBS students in both the Middle and Upper Schools were welcome to join. This allowed French students to further pursue their education while introducing other students to French culture. Nyla Gordon-Crocker ‘22 attended the meeting, despite not studying French in school. In an interview, Gordon-Crocker said, “I enjoyed being exposed to French cuisine because it gave me a chance to learn more about a culture that I do not know much about.” She enjoyed her fruit tart so much that she made another one the following day.
Not only was this activity available to MBS students, but also their families. Meera Iyer ‘25 worked with her younger sister to make the tart. While baking, Iyer said “I’m having a lot of fun! This is so cool!” Students were able to experience French culture beyond the classroom and even share it with their families. The students relieved their stress provoked by this chaotic time while having fun together and learning something new.
Tarte aux Fruits (Fruit Tart) Recipe
- 2/3 Cup of flour
- 2/3 cup of sugar
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 3 eggs
- pinch of salt
- Fruit: strawberries, raspberries, apples, pears, or apricots (best ripe).
- Preheat the oven to 350F
- Separate the egg white and yolks. Beat the egg whites to medium peak.
- In a separate bowl beat the egg yolks with sugar until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is pale yellow.
- Add softened (not melted) butter, one small piece at the time
- Add the flour, little by little.
- FOLD IN the egg whites, very slowly, two tablespoons at the time.
- Pour the batter into a buttered 9-10″ tarte mold.
- Arrange the fruit on the top, covering the pan completely so batter is not visible.
- Bake at 350F and check occasionally to see when the edges start to brown. (35-45 minutes)
- Let the tarte cool before sprinkling it with powdered sugar. You can drizzle melted chocolate over your tarte using a fork.
C’est delicieux! BON APPÉTIT!