Calissons - Traditional French Candy

Today I'm making Calissons - a traditional French candy, dating back as early as the 12th century. They're not the quickest things to make, but the tangy candied peel, mixed with the ground almonds makes for an amazing treat, and they make fantastic gifts as well.

They're open to a lot of variations - you can really experiment with the flavours to create something special and unique for you.

Ingredients

For the paste
Ground almonds 300 Gram
Icing sugar 200 Gram
Candied melon 200 Gram
Candied orange peel 40 Gram
Candied lemon peel 30 Gram
Orange flower water 3 Tablespoon
For the icing
Icing sugar 150 Gram
Egg white 1

Directions

GETTING READY

1. Pre-heating your oven to 120 degrees Celsius.

MAKING

2. In a large bowl, mix the ground almonds and icing sugar together well and then spread out onto a baking tray.

3. Place into the oven for about 30 minutes. This will dry out the ground almonds and sugar which may still have moisture in them.

4. While the almonds and sugar are drying out, chop the candied fruit finely.

5. In the food processor, place the candied fruit. Set to chop on high speed till almost completely broken down and forms a large, sticky ball.

6. Add in all the Orange Flower Water and continue to blend until you have a loose paste as shown in the video. Make sure that the paste is quite smooth and that no lumps of candied fruit remain.

7. Once the almonds and sugar are ready, remove from the oven and set aside for 10 minutes to allow to cool slightly, before adding into the fruit paste, still inside the food processor.

8. Blend again until the almonds, sugar and fruit paste are completely combined to create a firm, slightly sticky dough, not dissimilar to marzipan in appearance.

9. In a clean bowl, place the ball of dough and cover with a cloth. Place into a cool, well-ventilated area and allow to dry out for about an hour.

10. After the dough has dried, cover a clean work surface with a large sheet of waxed paper and then lay a sheet of Wafer Paper on top - smooth side up.

11. Push the dough into a rough, thick brick shape with your hands and lay on top of the wafer paper. Gently roll out to a thickness of about 8mm, trying to cover as much of the wafer paper as you can, but also being sure not to get it wet or tear it.

12. Carefully flip the arrangement over, so the dough is facing down towards the waxed paper and the wafer paper is facing up.

13. If you have a special calisson almond shaped cutter, or any other small cutter, lay it on top of the wafer paper and gently hold it in place while you cut the paper, from the inside of the cutter, to match its shape. Gently push the cutter through the dough and pull out.

14. Carefully push the calisson out from the cutter and arrange on a plate or tray, wafer paper side down and continue.

15. For the icing: In a bowl, place the icing sugar and add in the egg white. Whisk gently until the sugar and white are combined, before whisking vigorously until the icing resembles a thick cream.

16. Cover the tops of the calissons with the icing, trying to go right up to the edges, but run your finger around the edges to prevent any drips. Once all the calissons are iced, allow the icing to set for about 1 hour once again.

SERVING

17. Enjoy as a sweet treat instead of chocolate or gift to friends for a taste of France.

TIPS

You'll probably want to wash the cutter after cutting every 4 or 5 calissons, as the edges will soon gum up with dough, making for less neat edges. If you do not have an appropriate cutter, cut the dough into long strips, about 3cm wide, and then cut along the diagonal to form diamond shapes.

Preparation time will vary from 2.5 - 3.5 hours, depending on the cutting technique used.

These do not need to be stored in the refrigerator - merely a basket is sufficient if eaten within a few days. If storing for a bit longer, store in an airtight container and allow to dry in the open air for about an hour before eating.

Recipe Summary

Difficulty Level: Medium
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Ready In: 30 Minutes
Servings: 50

Nutrition Facts

Serving size

Calories 51Calories from Fat 7

 % Daily Value*

Total Fat %

Saturated Fat %

Trans Fat 0 g

Cholesterol

Sodium 2 mg0.08%

Total Carbohydrates 11 g3.7%

Dietary Fiber %

Sugars 10 g

Protein %

Vitamin A % Vitamin C %

Calcium % Iron %

*Based on a 2000 Calorie diet