“Once upon a time there was a little prince who lived on a planet that was scarcely any bigger than himself, and who had need of a sheep…”
When the McTweets challenge for this month was posted, Tell Me a Story MacAttack 7, I knew immediately that I had to make something related to the Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupery. I even carry a key chain in the shape of the Little Prince. The funny thing is that I don’t think that I had ever re-read it as an adult. I don’t even own a copy of it! So off I went to my library to check out a copy. I was very tempted to get the new 2009 pop-up book edition which looks stunning. The Little Prince, like so many other children’s books, is about friendship, love, the dangers of being narrow minded, responsibility, happiness… But what was most shocking to me after re-reading the book was how conceited the flower, the object of the little prince’s affections, is. Also, I was surprised to see that at the end of the book, in essence, the little prince is transported back to his home planet through death!
The narrator starts recounting the story of how when he was 6 years old he saw a picture of a boa constrictor in the act of eating an animal and decided to make a drawing of one eating an elephant. The first drawing he made was of the boa after it has eaten an elephant. He showed this drawing to adults, who thought it was a hat. He then had to make a second drawing, showing the elephant inside the boa, so that adults would be able to understand that it was not the drawing of a hat.
My Drawing Number One, for children—A boa constrictor digesting, in lieu of an elephant, a macaron:
My Drawing Number Two, for adults—A boa constrictor digesting, in lieu of an elephant, a macaron:
I made lemon-blueberry macarons with blue shells, and rhubarb-strawberry macarons with pink shells inspired by the two images from the book shown below.
The little prince so loves his one flower that sprouted from a seed in his planet. He has quite a lot to say about her. She is a little vain and self-centered, but I think all she really wants is to have the little prince’s attention, because she loves him. I love that one of the main characters in a children’s story is in love with a conceited flower, it is so romantic! Here are some lines from the book about the flower:
“Flowers are weak creatures. They are naïve. They reassure themselves as best they can. They believe that their thorns are terrible weapons…”
So, too, she began very quickly to torment him with her vanity—which was, if the truth be known, a little difficult to deal with. “This flower is a very complex creature…”
“One never ought to listen to the flowers. One should simply look at them and breathe their fragrance…”
“I ought to have guessed all the affection that lay behind her poor little stratagems. Flowers are so inconsistent! But I was too young to know how to love her…”
You can find the basic recipe for macaron shells here.
Lemon-Blueberry Cream Filling
4 ounces white chocolate
5 tablespoons lemon curd
2 tablespoons blueberry preserves
Melt the white chocolate over a double boiler. Let the chocolate cool for about 5 minutes. Add the lemon curd and blueberry preserves. Stir well. Refrigerate for about one hour.
I started seeing stalks of rhubarb at my farmers market, but did not have any idea what to do with them. Then I came across Not Derby Pie’s recipe for rhubarb curd shortbread and they looked so delicious! I thought rhubarb curd would make for a wonderful and different filling for macarons. I’ve adapted the regular lemon curd recipe I use, and incorporated the cooked rhubarb-strawberry mixture. This makes a very thick rhubarb-strawberry curd.
18 ounces rhubarb stalks, sliced into 1 inch pieces
10 ounces strawberries, hulled and cut in quarters
½ cup sugar
½ cup water
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
¾ cup sugar
8 egg yolks
10 tablespoons butter
1. In a large sauce pan, add the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, water and salt. Cook on medium heat for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the fruit breaks down and the mixture is very thick. You should have about 2 cups of rhubarb/strawberry mixture at this point. Let the mixture cool a little bit.
2. In a medium saucepan, add the lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, and egg yolks and mix well. Turn heat to medium low add the rhubarb/strawberry mixture in three additions. Cook, stirring constantly for about 6 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer registers 160°F. Remove from heat, and add butter, piece by piece stirring well. When all the butter has been added, strain mixture through a medium mesh strainer. Store in clean jars. Makes about 4 cups.
And if you are interested in reading the book, it is only 91 pages, and can be found online in several languages. What was your favorite childhood storybook?
Check out the Storybook macaron round-up on May 15, 2010: