Samstag, 29. Juni 2013

Calissons - sweet southern french treat

Today we had rain and rain and again rain. Low temperatures about 14 C and even lower at night. I already switched back to my winter duvet.
All in all it was so nasty outside I had to find some entertainment in my kitchen after cleaning the house.
I made a sweet treat I sometimes buy in france, the calissons. It doesn't look that perfect because I messed up with the sugar glaze (went bubbly) but I am quite satisfied with the taste. Calissons are candies and been made since medieval times. I will buy some in Aix en Provence in 2 weeks for sure but until then I made some on my own:

The ingredients are:
  • 150 g almonds, peeled and milled into a fine powder
  • 100 g candied melon in sirup, drained, cubed (1/2 cantaloup melon I candied over 3 days)
  • 50 g candied orange peel, cubed
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zestes
  • 1 tablespoon lavander honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon orange blossom water
  •  1 egg white 
  • 100 g icing sugar for glaze
I just blended almonds, melon, orange peel, orange-blossom-water, lemon zeste and honey in a blender until really smooth. The dough is very sticky and the machine had to do it's very best. I did not add sugar because the melon was soaked with sugar.
Afterward I put the dough in a heavy pot and fried it for 10 minutes on very low heat, scraping and turning with a wooden spatule to heat the dough without getting roast marks and to reduce some liquid. This roasting is very important to awaken the fragrance of the almonds. It is the same when preparing almond paste.
I put the dough between cling film and rolled it out until I had a smooth layer of 1 finger thickness.
With a water glass I cut the dough into Calisson shape,which reminds on a boat.

I placed the calissons on parchment paper, brushed them with sugar-egg-white glaze and let them dry in the oven at 50 C with surround heating for 30 minutes.

What did I do with the other half of the cantaloup. I ate it a few days ago (when the weather was still humid warm), chilled, with Parma ham (italian air dried ham, thinly sliced) and lots of black pepper. This is a dish I especially like to eat on hot summer days. The very aromatic melon with the slightly salty ham is so nice and tasty. I always search for good cantaloupes when the summer begins.


Hiroyuki hat gesagt…

Sounds like a very expensive candy. Can't even imagine how it tastes like.

Fräulein Trude hat gesagt…

Yes if you buy them, they are expensive 100 g / 9.90 Euros and believe me freshly home made are much tastier.
If you make them on your own:

(Euro / rounded up prices)
1/2 small melon 1.50
200 g almonds 1.90
candied orange 50 cent
1 egg 30 cent
1 sugar 1.50
= 5.70

for the triple amount! Ok it is lots of work because the melon needs time.
Melons are way more expensive in Japan as I learned.

Sissi hat gesagt…

I am impressed! Your calisson looks beautiful. I have often thought about making calissons at home (my husband loves them, for me they are much too sweet), but I thought they were impossible to make especially because of the thin wafer-like layer. Have you included it too?

Fräulein Trude hat gesagt…

Sissy: In Germany you can buy that wafer layer in super markets in the baking section. It is called oblate and sold round cut or as square plates. Most of the time they are used for such sticky treats as dried fruit bars and different kinds of ginger bread. I did not use them because I worked with cling film and parment paper and I dried the calissons a little bit.

Hiroyuki hat gesagt…

Thanks for the detailed info.

Musk melons are way too expensive (3,000-10,000 yen) for regular consumption, but other varieties are much less expensive (300-600 yen).

I have learned that oblate has another meaning! In Japan, it's a sheet of film made from starch used to wrap powder medicine.

Sissi hat gesagt…

I had no idea! I thought it had to be made from the scratch and it did look very difficult...