Macaron à l’Ancienne

A few weeks ago we stayed at the French city of Toulouse, a city on the banks of the river Garonne and well known for its impressive Place du Capitole and for the use of red bricks to construct houses and buildings. We walked through the old city centre, along the Canal du Midi, visited the beautiful Japanese garden and explored Carmes, a very nice neighbourhood with lots of small shops and restaurants. One day per week you’ll find a market with local products on the Place Du Salin. We saw very nice vegetables, dried sausages, cheese and Macaron a l’Ancienne, produced by Maison Boudiou from Saïx. The macarons came in various flavours, such as pistachio, orange, chocolate, natural and rose. All incredibly yummy.

The history of the macaron goes back a long time, perhaps to the 8th century. This kind of macaron, also known as TraditionnelAmaretties or Macaron Italien, is made with almonds, sugar and egg white. Indeed, exactly the same ingredients as today’s popular macaron. The main difference is that in case of the Macaron à l’Ancienne the egg white is only slightly beaten, and not turned into meringue. The egg white is used to connect the sugar and the grounded almonds.
Its taste made us think of marzipan, obviously, and a Dutch biscuit called bitterkoekje. No filling required and surprisingly simple to make.

What You Need

  • 150 Grams of Fine Granulated (or Caster) Sugar
  • 150 Grams of Almonds
  • 2 Egg Whites
  • 4-6 teaspoons of Orange Blossom Water

What You Do

This is a recipe for some 20 macarons. We use relatively little sugar; feel free to add more.
Preheat your oven to 180°C, upper and lower heat (the fan function will make the macarons dry and crunchy on the outside). Finely ground the almonds or (much quicker) use pure almond flour. In a bowl, mix the sugar and the almond powder. In another bowl, beat the egg whites until lightly foaming. Gently add the egg whites into the bowl and then fold them in until you have a batter. Add the orange blossom water, taste and if necessary, add some more. Make balls the size of a walnut. Place them on parchment paper and leave in the oven for 15 – 20 minutes, depending on the shape and color. Let cool on a rack.

Tartelette aux Framboises

A few weeks ago, we made lemon curd using kaffir limes. The curd is sweet, smooth, rich, tart and slightly floral. It made us think of tarte au citron, or even better of tartelette aux framboises. What a delicious idea! Lemon and raspberries are a match made in heaven.

However, we must admit, we’re not too familiar with patisserie. We searched the internet a bit, opened a few cookbooks and to our surprise we found a range of suggestions for the dough of the tartelette. Typical the moment to make life simple and rely on the choice of an expert. In our case Dutch patissier Cees Holtkamp. Renowned for his excellent patisserie and his truly delicious croquettes. If you ever have an opportunity to visit the shop in Amsterdam, please, please do so. His book (in English it’s called Dutch Pastry) is available via the well known channels.
You could of course also rely on a French classic, for instance Tarte Tatin by Ginette Mathiot.

Back to our plan: we made pâte sucrée for our tartelette with fresh raspberries. The result looks good and tastes even better.

What You Need

  • Pâte Sucrée
    • 125 grams of Butter
    • 125 grams of Flour
    • 40 grams of Sugar
    • Pinch of Salt
    • 1 Egg
  • Lemon Curd
  • Fresh Raspberries

What You Do

We use tartelette moulds with a diameter of approximately 7 centimetres (2,75 inches). The butter must be soft but not warm (18 °C or 65 °F). Beat the egg. Combine flour, sugar and salt. Dice the butter and knead with the mixture. When well mixed, add the egg and knead until you have a nice dough. Leave to rest in the refrigerator for at least two hours.

Coat the moulds with butter. Remove the pastry from the refrigerator. Place it on a floured surface and roll it out with a rolling pin. Perhaps dust the dough with flour. Divide the dough into 6 portions and make small circles. Press the pastry onto the bottom and to the sides. Cut of overhanging dough. Transfer to the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 175 °C or 350 °F.
Line with parchment paper and use dry beans to fill the moulds. Blind bake for 10 minutes. Remove the paper and the beans. Bake for another 10 minutes. When golden brown, remove the tartelette from the mould and let cool on a grid.
When cool, add the lemon curd and decorate with the raspberries.