A recipe to try:
For the pastry:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
12 tablespoons (11/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced
1/2 cup ice water
For the apples:
4 Granny Smith apples
1/2 cup sugar
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, small diced
1/2 cup apricot jelly or warm sieved apricot jam
2 tablespoons Calvados, rum, or water
For the crust, place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse for a few seconds to combine. Add the butter and pulse 10 to 12 times, until the butter is in small bits the size of peas. With the motor running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse just until the dough starts to come together. Dump onto a floured board and knead quickly into a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Roll the dough slightly larger than your pie pan. Place the dough and trim edges.
Peel and slice the apples crosswise in 1/4-inch thick pieces. Overlap apples starting on the outside until the pastry is covered with slices. Sprinkle with the full 1/2 cup of sugar and dot with the butter.
Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the pastry is browned and the edges of the apples start to brown. Rotate the pan once during cooking. When the tart’s done, heat the apricot jelly together with the Calvados and brush the apples and the pastry completely with the jelly mixture. Allow to cool and serve warm or at room temperature.
On Wednesdays and Sundays until about 3 p.m. the Grenelle neighborhood outdoor market is open for business. Regional specialties reign and the variety is over-the-top. Head for the big copper cauldron of freshly prepared aligot (a caloric dish of mashed potatoes and fresh tomme cheese from Averyon). Paella, bubbling stews, Moroccan grilled sandwiches, rotisseried chickens round out the take-out selections.
Specialty mushrooms, just-picked vegetables (no kale yet), fish, cheese, charcuterie, breads, pastries, honey, fruit, private label juices and tempting deals on discount clothing, kitchen gadgets, linens fill the booths that border the walking corridor.
Only downside is that you must ration quantities. No metal shopping baskets here, this ain’t no Safeway. Weighed down by one or two stuffed shopping bags, the schlep home can be taxing if you haven’t meal planned. If you’re a tourist, this is the ideal place for assembling a picnic extravaganza. All you have to do is get in line and when it’s your turn, point and courteously indicate the quantity. Make a Champs de Mars park bench your destination and bring plenty of napkins (not automatically supplied).
For more info on finding more marchés around town, consult your No Worries Paris guidebook.
Big expansive murals, detailed mosaics, blaring neon messages in every language, an outdoor museum like no other in Paris. A street worth perusing just around the corner from the Belleville metro. Photographers will have a field day here.
This multi-cultural neighborhood is worth exploring just for the Tunisian, Chinese, Vietnamese, African, Ethiopian, Moroccan restaurants alone. You’ll almost forget that you’re in Paris.
Embrace the grungy underground. Get out your spray can (or borrow one on the street) and add your personal squiggly rant. Just don’t expect it to be there when you return on your next visit. Street art: an ever-changing gallery.
Is your French a little rusty? Intimidated by boutique shopping? Galeries Lafayette, Le Bon Marche, Au Printemps department stores to the rescue. Most of the big designers are represented and price tags are right at your fingertips, no asking. Gourmet restaurants, historic architecture, special reductions for tourists, rooftop views come along with the package, a good place to spend your last day with the remainder of your euros and gift lists.
Another advantage: gather your tax refunds all in one place. If you are a non-European Union resident, you are entitled to claim back the 12% tax paid on purchases made. You must meet the following criteria:
- Reside outside of the European Union and be over the age of 16
- Present a valid passport and original cash register receipts
- The tax refund form must be completed on the day of purchase without fail
- A 12% refund will be made on purchases over €175 made in the same store on the same day excluding foodand drink
- Purchases made at certain brands* cannot be combined with purchases made in the rest of the store. *Louis Vuitton, Rolex-Tudor, Chanel (excludes fragrances)
- You must be staying in Europe for less than 6 months
- Final date for exiting the EU is 3 months
Once you have made purchases over 175 Euros, make your way to the Tax Refund Desk with your original cash register receipts and passport
- Choose your preferred method of reimbursement
- The store will issue you with a tax refund form
On leaving the EU your tax refund form must be validated by Customs at the airport, train station or border point within 3 months of the purchase date
Before checking in your luggage, you should present your refund form with your purchases, passport and travel documents for inspection by Customs. Failure to adhere to these conditions will result in cancellation of the refund and a possible fine.
Once the refund form has been validated by Customs, if you have chosen to receive a cash refund, please make your way to the designated desk at the airport, station or border point. For all other methods of reimbursement you should post off the blue form signed by Customs in the pre-paid envelope provided within 6 months. You should retain the other copy as proof of purchase.
For more shopping districts, consult your No Worries Paris guidebook.
Circle Notre Dame and you’re bound to run into one of these merrymakers. Their accordians have seen better days and so have their repetoires but the nostalgic crowds don’t seem to mind. It even puts a little air in the steps of the passerby, that je ne sais quoi soundtrack of Paris. Just don’t request “La Vie En Rose”, okay?