- Get started on the onions for the soup first to allow them ample time to caramelize—about an hour and forty-five minutes. Be sure you have heatproof ceramic bowls ready to finish each serving with a crown of bread and Gruyère melted and browned under the broiler.
- Traditionally made with apples, we also like bosc pears in the pear tarte tatin; their firmer texture means they retain their elegant shape when cooked. You can serve the tart warm, or make it a day ahead and serve it at room temperature.
- Favored by post-impressionist painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, the Tremblement de Terre is a strong drink: cognac is improved with a hint of herbaceous absinthe for a heady cocktail. While Toulouse-Lautrec served a version of this beverage at his parties, you may choose to switch to something a little less revelry-inducing. Try pairing the meal with a dry, aromatic white like Sancerre, or a light red such as Languedoc.
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