Sydney Times



Written by Aksel Ritenis


I’m not a dessert cook! Trust me … they are a special breed with far more patience than I possess. But I sometimes like to finish a meal on a sweet note, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised to discover just how easy some desserts can be, even these French classics. So let’s celebrate Bastille Day this week by whipping up one of these impressive – but very easy – classic French desserts.

Apple Tart Tatin

Tarte Tatin

Use a good ready-made shortcrust pastry (like Carême) and this impressive dessert is foolproof. Named after the Tatin sisters who served it at their hotel near Paris in the 19th century, it’s best served hot from the oven, but the apples can be prepared ahead of time. Great with an Aussie muscat.

Creme Caramel

Crème Caramel

You’ll need to make this classic custard ahead of time, which makes it perfect for entertaining; have it ready in the fridge to just unmould and serve. A couple of simple tips help ensure a delicate, smooth custard every time, whisking eggs gently and cooling milk before adding them. Perfect with a light Moscato d’Asti.



Choux pastry looks daunting but is super easy. Profiteroles can be filled with whipped cream or custard, but good vanilla ice cream is just as delicious and leaves time for you to make a great chocolate sauce to bring it all together. Serve with PX Sherry.

Crêpes Suzette

Allegedly this classic was created accidentally at the Café de Paris in Monte Carlo when a gueridon pan of crêpes and orange sauce caught fire. It’s just as delicious without the flambé flourish and easy to make the crêpes ahead then just warm and serve. Delicious with a nip of orange liqueur.


These versatile little French pastries are easy with a good ready-made butter puff pastry. Palmiers are great with fruit, cream or ice cream, to dress up a dessert or dusted with icing sugar to serve with coffee. Try them with berries and crème fraîche and a framboise eau de vie.

Looking for more deliciously easy desserts? Check out the sweets column on my recipe pageAnd for some classic French savoury dishes to round out the meal, how about Coq au Vin ~ French Onion Soup ~ Pissaladiere ~ Vichyssoise ~ Ratatouille ~ Steak Tartare.
See more of what I’m cooking, eating and drinking on Instagram
If you enjoy this list, please share it using one of the links below.

About the author

Aksel Ritenis

Publisher and Custodian of the Sydney Times

error: Content is protected !!