Freshly baked croissants, pain au chocolate and brioche cinnamon rolls are just a few of the freshly baked pastries that can now be found at Raven & Lily Restaurant in Collierville.
While the restaurant was closed this past spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic, chef and owner Justin Young transformed a closet in his restaurant into a French pastry shop, complete with a pastry dough sheeter. The tiny room is filled with all the equipment needed to make classic French pastries.
“It was partially out of boredom,” Young said. “But also out of necessity. We were trying to figure out ways to bring people in when we reopened.”
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Young, who runs the restaurant with his wife, Amy, launched Baked in Collierville. The bakery offers a selection of baked goods starting at 10 a.m. Wednesday through Sunday.
The menu includes six items. Each is baked fresh daily and made from scratch using classic French techniques. The attention to detail and technique is evident in each bite. Young’s yeasted puff pastry croissants are nothing like the grocery store varieties found around Memphis; instead, one bite of these flakey and airy pastries and you would swear they had been shipped from France.
Butter is the key ingredient. Young sources a European butter that has 85% butterfat, versus the 65% butterfat in most butter. Numerous “turns” through the sheeter create the multiple airy layers of the finished pastry.
Young makes everything in his restaurant from scratch that he can. These pastries are no exception. He makes candied orange and lemon peels for two of the desserts. He blends chocolate and hazelnut to make the gianduia hazelnut chocolate filling for the pain au chocolate. Each classic croissant is served with house-made jam.
In addition to the classic croissant and the pain au chocolate, Young has two additional sweet puff pastry treats on the menu.
The LKA, a Lemon Kouign Amann, is Young’s lemon version of a yeasted puff pastry from the northwest Brittany region of France. Young layers the puff pastry with lemon sugar made in-house from candied lemon peels. The result is a light and flaky treat with a caramelized outer crust. When ordered for dine-in at the restaurant, Young serves it with a tart and creamy lemon curd.
The Morning Bun is another unique puff pastry offering. Candied orange “raisins” (made from candied orange peel), cinnamon, lavender and sugar are rolled together to make this sweet treat. It can be ordered with an orange coriander marmalade or as an ice cream sandwich with pistachio gelato.
A savory Croque Monsieur Croissant features smoked ham from Canale’s Grocery and gouda cheese sauce stuffed inside a traditional croissant. Young tops it with a green tomato chow chow at the restaurant. On the weekend, it can be ordered with a fried egg to make it a Croque Madame.
A sourdough brioche Cinnamon Roll rounds out the pastry offerings. This oversized treat is not your everyday cinnamon roll. A brown sugar brioche is rolled with cinnamon brown sugar before baking and then glazed with a brown sugar royal icing. It has a depth of flavor rather than being sugary sweet like most cinnamon rolls.
Young, who worked for Erling Jensen for almost 15 years at both La Tourelle and Erling Jensen: The Restaurant, received top honors in classical pastries when he graduated from Johnson and Wales Culinary School in 1998. He also had a two-year stint working in kitchens in France. “I tried to replicate what I ate every day when I lived there,” Young said.
Most pastries cost $4 a piece or $36 a dozen. The Croque Monsieur ham and cheese croissant is $5. They can be enjoyed at the restaurant with a cup of coffee Wednesday through Sunday or ordered for takeout. Young suggests bulk orders be made at least 24 hours in advance to ensure availability. “We only make what we think what we need for the day,” Young said. “I’d rather sell out and bake fresh every day.”
Next on the menu? Young is working to create a gluten-free pastry. Not happy with any of the gluten-free flours on the market, he is experimenting with creating his own.
Jennifer Chandler is the Food & Dining reporter at The Commercial Appeal. She can be reached at [email protected] and you can follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @cookwjennifer.
At a glance
Baked in Collierville at Raven & Lily Restaurant
Where: 120 E. Mulberry St., Collierville
Hours: Open 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5-8 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday; 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5-9 p.m. Friday-Saturday; 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday
Phone: (901) 286-4575
This article originally appeared on Memphis Commercial Appeal: Baked in Collierville: French puff pastry treats now on menu at Raven & Lily Restaurant