The story of our Fruit Magic breakfast dish began in October of 1990 on Blvd. des Laurentides in Vimont, Laval, where we had just opened our third restaurant. New customers arrived in droves, with our parking lot rapidly overflowing as they jostled for places like fish in a trawler’s nets. This extraordinary influx stimulated our creativity to such an extent that even the simplest request might result in the most amazing gastronomic surprise!
So, one fine morning, Martha, a long-time friend and fellow survivor, came in—all dressed up, husband in tow, and hailing me across the restaurant like Princess Diana amid a field of frantically photographing paparazzi. “Cora! Come meet Saul, my dear husband! Oh… and then, could you make me a surprise?”
Martha’s eyes gazed down the dishes listed on the menu, but nothing jumped out at her or lit up her face. Her head was saying “fruit”, but her tummy was yelling for a pastry and custard cream extravaganza... I've always admired Martha’s voracious appetite and the way it goes into such raptures, never resting on its laurels for long.
Well, I began by pulling one of the old sundae cups out of a box of inventory items that the previous owner had left. I filled it with small slices of the best fruit on the counter and doused it all with a pastry chef’s custard cream, thinned out with a little 15% cream. I then shaped a beautiful dome on top using a fantail of sliced pear, thin slices of plums, a small stairway of apple, star fruit, little highlights of blueberries on yellow triangles of pineapple, and finally, red raspberry ‘kisses’.
It was delightful, breakfast in the form of bouquet, honouring the harvest season. But all this beauty wasn’t going to be sufficient to satisfy Martha’s craving, I knew too well... So I ordered a well-toasted bagel from the kitchen, just the way ‘Madame’ likes it, and placed it on a large plate at the foot of the glass sundae cup, next to a thick wedge of cream cheese and a pair of giant strawberry sentinels.
The presentation barely had time to grace the terrace before one of the customers proclaimed:
“It’s magic! Tell Cora that she has magic hands!”
It truly was magical, and ‘Lady Martha’ stood to applaud the newly created delight as it reached her table! Resoundingly, Martha refused any suggestion that an “old name” like hers be given to such a fresh, new creation. Amused, her husband then proposed the name “Fruit Magic”, and, on the menu as just that, it’s been working its magic now for more than 27 years!