Spiced Apple Éclair
Apricot and Hazelnut Croissant
Wild Blueberry Cream Cheese Danish
Filling a gap in South Edmonton, an area locals have suggested to be long in-need of culinary revolution, it was a disappointing visit to another Bakery & Café that saw me point the GPS straight to Jennifer Stang’s recently opened La Boule on 101 Street NW where a nine o’clock opening still did not see shelves stocked, several items still in preparation while the rest sat on a counter in back without labels.
Generally leery of late-opening eateries that seem unprepared for business, this situation further evident as both young women at the counter fumbled to properly describe pastries as one was being trained to use the register, it was with smiling patience that I stood focusing on a story in the local paper about Chef Stang’s training and relationship with her mother while I waited, the six items selected carefully boxed up and taken elsewhere to be eaten.
Taking the French term for Bread and applying it to everything from Viennoiserie to Brioche, with a particular fondness for Choux, those visiting La Boule early will find a wide variety of Eclairs and Croissants joined by Cookies, Danishes and small Tarts, the Gingersnaps featuring a strip of the candied Root atop a soft base impressively spicy with sweetness imparted by the surface sprinkled in Granulated Sugar.
Next turning attention to an Éclair, one of nearly a half-dozen flavors available that day, ample notes of Cinnamon and Fruit came across beneath light Cream and Pastry that broke cleanly, the Cinnamon Brioche unfortunately a bit dry on the interior despite a good amount of butter, a small misfire that makes one wonder whether that particular batch had been exposed to a bit too much time in the oven that morning.
One-upping the Cinnamon Roll dramatically with other laminated pastries, the high quality of their fillings no doubt credited with an assist, eschewing Frangipane for ground Almonds sees La Boule offer Edmonton’s best Almond Croissant by a significant margin as the outside shatters to yield soft layers packed with sweetness and Butter, the Apricot-Hazelnut version going one step further by adding Fruit compote that still yields no sog while the Wild Blueberry Cream Cheese Danish eats a bit softer, though the high quality of the small Berries speaks volumes about the owner’s commitment to excellence and the strong likelihood that this place will only continue to improve.