Mirlitons

Looking through my French cookery books for something different to bake, I came across a recipe for 'Mirlitons'.
When I googled them to find out more, they seemed to be a strange looking green vegetable from the USA, also called chayote. What happened to the cakes?



I continued googling and found out that the little Mirliton Tartlets come from around Rouen in Normandy. There were quite a few recipes for them, but they all seemed to agree that they must have an almond and egg filling with vanilla extract and orange flower water; some had cream added, so I decided to add some to give them extra flavour. Apparently it's quite an old recipe, being found in a 18th century cookery book.

They sound very similar to the Welsh cheese cakes my Mum used to make - a pastry shell, a layer of jam then a sponge topping, but there's no almonds in Mum's recipe.

They're very easy to make, as you use a ready made sheet of puff pastry.

This recipe makes about 12 tartlets.

 Preheat oven 180C/gas 4 and grease a 12 hole tartlet tin.

Roll out a sheet of puff pastry [about 240g] and cut out 12 tartlets; use these to line your tin.

Put a good tspn of jam in each tartlet - I used some raspberry jam. Then make the filling by beating together 100g ground almonds, 100g caster sugar, 2 eggs, 1 tspn vanilla extract, and 2 tspn orange flower water. Stir in about 5 tbspn whipped double cream and mix well. Spoon this mixture into your tartlet shells, and if you want, you can put a sprinkling of flaked almonds on the tops, but I chose not to do this.
Bake for about 20 mins till they're golden brown and turn out onto a wire rack. You can eat them hot or cold. Dust with icing sugar.




I'm not really sure if I like the orange flower water flavour, which is  very distinct. I liked the contrast between the fruity jam, the almond cake mixture and the pastry base. The cream made the texture quite soft. An interesting little tartlet!



Comments

I wonder why they're named after a veg...or vice versa?
Pretty looking tarts and, with those ingredients, are always going to be delicious!
Lovely looking tarts. I have come across these little treats in Normandy once or twice but I have to confess that I didn't realise that they usually contained orange flower water. I think the ones that I've had were flavoured only with almonds. Of course, that might be my faulty memory.

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