CONGRATULATIONS to all of us in the Proust Reading Group! After two years and 3,500 pages, we have concluded our discussions of Marcel Proust's monumental novel, Remembrance of Things Past, aka In Search of Lost Time!
Online Proust Forum Although we have achieved our goal of discussing all of Proust's magnum opus, you are welcome to post comments on any aspect of Proust, and at any time to our online Proust forum.
Proust Resources Below are links to various articles and guides, and more. Proust's unabridged original texts are now being made available online for free. On a lighter and fluffier note, I have also included a recipe for madeleines, the little cakes which set Proust's vast novel in motion. Enjoy!
The most highly-regarded English version of Remembrance of Things Past is Terence Kilmartin's revision, made 20 years ago, of C.K. Scott-Moncrieff's original translation. If you buy books from Amazon.com or Buy.com, thanks for using these links! Free copies of Proust's original French texts are beginning to appear online.
At the beginning of Remembrance of Things Past, Proust immortalized the madeleine when he wrote, "I raised to my lips a spoonful of the cake... a shudder ran through my whole body and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary changes that were taking place."
Madeleines [mad-LEHN] are small, feather-light, spongy cakes eaten like a cookie, often dipped in coffee or tea. They are baked in a special pan with scallop-shell indentations; the finished cakes take the form of the shell. Would you like to bake some?
Madeleines (recipe from Epicurious)
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
Pinch of salt
1 cup all purpose flour
10 tablespoons (1-1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, cooled slightly
YIELDS ABOUT 20
Preheat oven to 375 F. Generously butter and flour pan for large madeleines (about 3 x 1-1/4 inches this metal mold with scallop-shaped indentations is sold at cookware stores).
Using electric mixer, beat eggs and 2/3 cup sugar in large bowl just to blend. Beat in vanilla, lemon peel and salt. Add flour; beat just until blended. Gradually add cooled melted butter in steady stream, beating just until blended.
Spoon 1 tablespoon batter into each indentation in pan. Bake until puffed and brown, about 16 minutes. Cool 5 minutes. Gently remove from pan. Repeat process, buttering and flouring pan before each batch. (Can be made 1 day ahead.)
Dust cookies with powdered sugar.
Wash and dry hands, then return to reading Proust within arm's reach of the madeleines.
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