Wednesday, July 31, 2019

White Camembert Tart & Marienstatter Apple Chutney: Summertime Dining at its Best

The other day, while doing my grocery shopping I was looking for a nice French 'Brie', oftentimes lovingly nicknamed 'The Queen of Cheeses'. Brie is a soft cheese named after the French region Brie. It's a creamy, off-white cheese with an edible rind, soft-ripened, made from cow's milk and usually sold in small rounds. While waiting my turn at the cheese counter and oogling the generous offerings, I noticed some delicious looking rounds of 'Camembert de Normandie', also made from cow's milk, with a smooth, runny interior, a buttery flavor and a white bloomy rind that is also meant to be eaten with the cheese. It occurred to me that whenever I see Camembert it always makes me think of a popular appetizer, Breaded Camembert Rounds with Cranberry Sauce that my mother found hard to resist whenever she spied the dish on a restaurant menu.

Well, if you, like most people I know, including myself of course, enjoy warm Camembert oozing from its breading and mingling with a tangy, fruity compote or chutney, this is definitely a recipe you should try. To compliment this dish, Germans usually go the 'Preiselbeermarmelade' route – which, without dwelling on botanical subleties here, is a compote akin to, but not exactly the same as, cranberry sauce. As an alternative, I quite enjoy a red currant jam alongside my breaded Camembert. But, for now, that traditional recipe is meant for another blogpost in the near future.

Back to my shopping for Brie. When it was my turn to order cheese at the counter, I had changed my mind. I proceeded to buy three smallish rounds of Camembert de Normandie instead of the Brie and I was going to serve a simple to make White Camembert Tart that should reflect the flavors of Breaded Camembert Rounds in a tart shell.

By the time I had placed my Camembert cheese loot into my shopping kart, I was keen on getting started on the pastry dough (it does need to rest and cool for a bit) and had no desire to look further for that sometimes elusive 'Preiselbeermarmelade'So, while waiting in line to pay my groceries and pondering the contents of my freezer and cupboard, I remembered that one of my kind dinner guests had recently visited the Abbey Marienstatt (Abtei Marienstatt), located in the Westerwald region. While there, he had tasted some of the delicacies lovingly produced at the Abbey and chosen to buy some very tasty Apple Chutney (Apfelchutney), of which I was the lucky recipient. So, to make a long story short, 'Marienstatter Applechutney‘ alongside a White Camembert Tart it was for dinner that early summer evening.

While I was running rather late that day with taking pics and all, I ended up really liking the way this very easy recipe turned out. A simple, no-fuss, all-butter pastry, fresh eggs, French cheese, some sea salt, white pepper, freshly ground nutmeg, and freshly ground bread crumbs is all it takes to get that breaded Camembert taste. For this recipe it turned out to be a tasty idea to add some freshly made bread crumbs after the first 20 minutes of baking, right on top of the still wobbly custard, then continue baking until done. Voilà! Not bad for a weekday supper.

White Camembert Tart


For the Pastry
  • 250 g all purpose (plain) flour (alternatively, you can use white spelt flour), plus some for flouring the tart pan and your work surface
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 125 g unsalted butter, nice and cold, plus some for greasing the pan
  • 1 egg (L), free- range or organic
  • 1-3 tbsp cold water
In addition
  • one quiche pan 26 cm or 28cm (10.5in or 11in), preferably with a removable bottom
  • a soft-bristled pastry brush
  • ceramic pie weights (or beans/rice) and two sheets of parchment paper for blind-baking and for lining the baking pan
For the Filling
  • 3 Camembert rounds, cut into slices; shingled into pre-baked pie shell (each weighs about 125g for a total of 375g), preferably Camembert de Normandie
  • 3 eggs (L), free-range or organic
  • 200ml cooking (double) cream
  • 200g sour cream
  • fine sea salt
  • freshly ground white pepper
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 heaping tbsps homemade bread crumbs (not the sandy ones form the box, pls)
To serve
  • apple or pear chutney OR
  • cranberry jam (which, around here would be 'Preiselbeermarmelade‘ – the 'cranberry' is the North American cousin of the 'Preiselbeere')

Preparation of the Quiche
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and the salt. Cut up the cold butter into small cubes and, using your fingertips, rub together the ingredients just until it looks like coarse oatmeal.
  2. Add the egg and the water and mix everything together as quickly as possible. Pat the dough into a disc. Wrap in food wrap and place in the fridge for at least one hour (better for three hours).
  3. Take the pastry out of the fridge 30 minutes prior to making the quiche.
  4. Then on a lightly-floured work surface, roll out the dough to a circle 28cm (12 inches).
  5. Grease the baking pan with some butter and line the pan with parchment paper, then butter again and dust with flour and make sure to shake out the excess. Then line the pan with the pastry (either cut off the excess dough OR crimp the edges) and place in the fridge for another 15 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
  7. Take the baking pan out of the fridge, dock the dough with the tines of a fork, line with crumbled parchment paper, fill-up with pie weights and ‚blind‘ bake in the middle of the oven for about 12 to 15  minutes, or until the pastry is dry to the touch.
  8. Take the baking pan out of the oven, remove the pie weights and the parchment paper and bake again for another 5 to  10 minutes or until the pastry has a golden color. Leave the crimped edge OR use a small, sharp knife to trim away the excess pastry from the edge.
  9. While your tart case pre-bakes, you can make your filling. In a bowl, beat the eggs and cream together until evenly combined.
  10. Add a pinch of freshly ground white pepper, a good pinch of fine salt, and some freshly grated nutmeg.
  11. Place the Camembert slices over the base of the pastry case.
  12. Carefully pour the creamy egg mixture into the tart case and place on a baking sheet.
  13. Bake for a good 20 minutes, until set but still wobbly, then sprinkle the bread crumbs on top and very carefully slide the baking shett back into the oven.
  14. Continue to bake for another 15 to 25 minutes or until the filling is just set and golden.
  15. Leave in the pan for 5 minutes, then carefully unmould the tart.
  16. Serve warm or cold, with a side salad and homenmade cranberry jam (optional).

If you would like to speed things up further, you can go with a good quality, premade shortcrust pastry.

  • For more info with respect to the Abbey Marienstatt (Abtei Marienstatt), pls go HERE (in German)

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Of Müsli Power Bars & Saint Christopher's Day (The Patron Saint of all Travelers and Motorists)

School holidays are in full swing around here. In Germany they are set at regional level by each of the 16 federal states (Bundesländer). Each state will have holidays each year for fall, Christmas, Easter and summer, plus schools in most states also have a winter break around February. A few states have a break of about one to two weeks for Pentecost around May/June. There are also days off throughout the year which vary between the different states.

German school holidays are often used as a time for families to get together and celebrate festive holidays such as Christmas and Easter, go away on family vacations or have a local day trip. Holidays may also coincide with regional days of celebration or Carnival periods - for example as we live in the Rhineland, we always have a few days off for Carnival celebrations (for this year's recipe with respect to these popular holidays, pls go HERE).

Different beginning and ending days for the holidays are meant to ensure that the German highways, rail system and airports are not overwhelmed with vacationing families at the same time.

But just in case you want to make sure to be well prepared for and well-fed during your trip (no matter the method of transportation), following is a lovely recipe for my Müsli Power Bars that can easily be prepared in advance of your trip, fed to your hungry travel companions during the trip or be packed up and enjoyed at your place of desination. They are chock-full of protein (nut butter), heart healthy oats, dried fruits, coconut and dark chocolate to keep all of you travelers happy and your energy levels up.

Müsli Power Bars (Müsli Energieriegel)

  • 265g rolled oats (around here that would be 'kernige Haferflocken‘)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (I like to use 'Ceylon cinnamon‘)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¾ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • 50g chocolate chunks (I like to use dark chocolate with 70% cacao) – you can use nuts, seed or chopped dried fruits instead 
  • 30g unsweetened shredded aka dessicated coconut (I like to use coarsely shredded coconut, available at most health food stores)
  • 60g dried fruits such as sour cherries, cranberries or 30g dried raisins and 30g sultanas or go with 60g apricots (chopped)
  • 75g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 150g dark brown sugar (or use light brown sugar)
  • 35g superfine baking (caster) sugar 
  • 2 eggs (M), free-range or organic, at room temperature
  • 250g peanut butter, smooth or chunky (I like to use a brand from The Netherlands with small chunks) – you could swap another nut butter if you prefer OR make your own nut butter
  • 8g pure vanilla sugar (around here that's 'Bourbon Vanillezucker')

  1. Preheat your oven to 180ºC (356°F).
  2. Butter a 25x5x25cm rectangular/brownie baking pan. Line with baking parchment - leaving leave enough to grab when the baked bars are finished, so you can use the overhang as handles, to lift the bars from the pan.
  3. Mix the oats, cinnamon, baking soda, ginger, and salt in a medium bowl.
  4. In a small bowl, mix the chocolate chips, coconut, and dried fruits.
  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl by hand, beat the butter and brown and granulated sugars until light and fluffy. 
  6. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl, to make sure they are well-incorporated.
  7. Then add the peanut butter and the vanilla sugar and mix, then add the oat mixture and mix on the lowest speed of the mixer for two minutes.
  8. Mix in the chocolate chips, coconut, and cherries and stir until completely incorporated, making sure everything is well-mixed.
  9. Scrape the dough into the prepared baking pan and smooth the top. 
  10. Bake until the top is golden brown and the center feels just set when you press it lightly, 20 to 25 minutes. NOTE: pls make sure not to overbake, as they still harden while cooling and they should be soft and chewy inside.
  11. Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack; cool completely before slicing (this can take up to two hours).
  12. Eat the same day they were made OR keep the Müsli Bars in a cookie tin between layers of parchment paper (to prevent sticking). 

While we can all use energy from the these delicious Müsli Power Bar during our travels, it certainly cannot hurt to reassure ourselves of a bit of saintly protection of St. Cristopher, whose service to travelers earned him the honor of being the patron saint and protector of travelers. It is the story of a man who was, himself, a traveler, and of his journey to find Christ.

According to legend, St. Christopher, initially called ‚Reprobus‘, encountered a hermit who instructed him on the Christian faith. He suggested that he might use his strength to help travelers cross a dangerous river. One day a child arrived to be carried across the river, Reprobus took the child upon his shoulders, but as he crossed the river, the child grew heavier until Reprobus feared he would fall and that they would both drown. When he finally reached the other side, he said to the child: "You have put me in the greatest danger. I do not think the whole world could have been as heavy on my shoulders as you were." The child replied: "You had on your shoulders not only the whole world but Him who made it. I am Christ your king, whom you are serving by this work."

When they reached the opposite bank, Christ asked Reprobus to press his staff into the ground. When he did, the staff turned into a beautiful flowering tree, and he was rewarded. Christ then baptized Reprobus in the river and gave him his Christian name which ‚Christopher‘ which means ‚Christ-bearer‘.

The above three pics of the St. Christopher statutes were taken by me at the famous Cologne Cathedral (Kölner Dom), St. Andreas Basilica (Basilika St. Andreas) also in Cologne and at the Münster Cathedral (St.-Paulus-Dom). 

Christopher spent the remainder of his life in the service of Christ and worked tirelessly to spread Christ's teachings. He died a martyr in Lycia, in 251 A.D.

During the 1960s, the Catholic Church reviewed and revised the Calendar of Saints, and eliminated the feast days of several saints including the celebration of St. Christopher which was on July 25th. Although Christopher does remain a saint, his day of celebration is no longer listed in the Catholic calendar. Despite this, devotion to St. Christopher continues. Travelers wear St. Christopher medals around their necks, place St. Christopher medallions on their dashboards, carry St. Christopher medal key chains in their pockets, or affix a St. Christopher bell to their bicycle handlebar - like my hubby did!

All St. Christopher medals depict a bearded, middle-aged man. Upon his shoulders sits a child representing Christ, and in his hand is a staff. The Latin inscription around the medal, this one on a bicycle bell reads ‚Sancte Christophore - Iter Nostrum Protege‘ which means ‚Saint Christopher protect us during our travels‘.

(Ad/Werbung): my recipe for the Müsli Power Bars (Müsli Energieriegel) is part of my series for a 'local' (meaning across the state of North Rhine-Westphalia) radio station, where, throughout the year, I present different baked goods that are closely tied to various holidays and seasons. If you are interested, have a listen (in German) HERE.

The various recipes can be found here:

  • in January, for Three Kings Day (Dreikönigstag) two kinds of Galette des Rois (Dreikönigskuchen) (HERE)
  • for Lent (Fastenzeit) Lenten Soup with Lenten Beugel (Fastenbeugel) (HERE)
  • for Good Friday (Karfreitag) the delicious Hot Cross Buns (HERE)
  • for Pentecost /Whitsun (Pfingsten) the fun Allgäu Bread Birds (Allgäuer Brotvögel) (HERE);
  • for the beginning of the summer vacation, the lovely Sacristains (Almond & Sugar Puff Pastry Sticks) (HERE)
  • today for St. Christopher's Day (St. Christophorus), these energy-packed Müsli Power Bars (Müsli Energieriegel) (HERE
  • for Mary's Assumption Day (Mariä Himmelfahrt) my Tear & Share Herb Bread (Kräuterbrot) (HERE
  • for Mary’s Birthday (Mariä Geburt) some very pretty Mary’s Sweet Rolls (Süße Marienküchlein) (HERE)- more delicious treats to come very soon.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Old Viennese Topfen Cake - Altwiener Topfentorte

The word ‚Topfen', is the Austrian name for what Germans call ‚Quark‘. These days Quark is starting to be available in many supermarkets and stores around the world. It is a European style cottage cheese that is much creamier than the drier cottage cheese that many of you are used to in other parts of the world and, with the addition of cultures, has a mild yogurt tang. In general, Quark can by used for anything that you may use crème fraîche or sour cream for.

If you follow my blog, you might have noticed that around here Quark is not only very popular for baking but also for slathering over oven-baked (Ofenkartoffeln) or boiled potatoes (Pellkartoffeln) and then topped with fresh herbs (Kartoffeln mit Kräuterquark). In Austria, Quark is often mixed with eggs and sugar and sometimes butter to form a luscious thickened cream for a variety of desserts, pastries and strudels including Quark Dumplings (Topfennockerl), Quark Strudel (Topfenstrudel), Quark Turnovers (Topfengolatsche), to name a few.

And while Quark is an essential ingredient for baked cheesecakes in the two German speaking countries, the approach to cheesecake is different. German cheesecake (Käsekuchen) often includes a pie crust to encase the baked filling, while this classic Old Viennese Topfen Cake (Altwiener Topfentorte) is made with Quark mixed with almond meal and is essentially gluten free.

The combination of good quality butter, Quark, farm fresh eggs, sugar, vanilla and almond meal gives this traditional Old Viennese Topfen Cake (Altwiener Topfentorte) an extremely light texture that will surprise you. But you will definitely need a light, quick hand when folding through the beaten egg whites otherwise you will end up with a cake on the dense side. It is always a good idea to make sure your beater and bowl are clean - free of any fats - before you start beating your egg whites to ensure a good volume results.

Old Viennese Topfen Cake - Altwiener Topfentorte
(this is a smallish cake, so it serves 6 to 8)

  • 120 g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 120 g superfine baking (caster) sugar
  • 4 eggs (M), free-range or organic, separated
  • 120 g Quark (I use 20%)
  • zest of an organic lemon
  • 8g pure vanilla sugar
  • a pinch fine sea salt
  • 120 g almond meal
  •  icing sugar for dusting

In addition
  • a 22cm (8.5in) springform pan
  • baking parchment

  1. Preheat you oven 180°C (356°F). 
  2. Butter the pan and dust with almond meal, shaking out any excess.
  3. In a mixer beat the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. 
  4. Add one egg yolk at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. Then add the Quark, lemon zest and vanilla sugar and mix through. Set aside.
  6. Using a separate clean and dry bowl whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff. 
  7. Fold a third of the beaten egg white into the Quark mix to loosen it and then fold the rest in quickly with a spatula with a cutting motion, along with the almond meal. 
  8. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for approximately 35 to 40 minutes. 
  9. Take the cake out of the oven. Transfer to a wire rack. Cool completely on the wire rack. 
  10. Then remove the cake from the pan, remove the baking parchment, dust with icing sugar and serve.

If you are interested in another Viennese treat, why not look HERE for my wonderful recipe for  'Viennese Whirls' - these are pretty delicious too.

Hope you enjoy your virtual, culinary trip to Austria.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Oven-Baked Ratatouille - July Cooking

Traditionally Ratatouille is a French Provençal dish, originating in Nice, sometimes referred to as 'ratatouille niçoise'. It's a slow-cooked dish of eggplant (aubergine), tomatoes, peppers and zucchini (courgettes) that is usually served as a room temperature side dish. It dates back to the 18th century when it was a sort of 'coarse stew'. Nowadays it can be considered as a wonderfully healthy and simple way to enjoy the summer’s best produce, and makes the best leftovers. Sometimes I adapt it for my version of Summer Ratatouille Pasta.

And then there is this Oven-Baked Ratatouille, this recipe is one not original to me, but this is my summery version and I love the ease with which it can be prepared. It is a dish of layered vegetables baked in the oven until tender. Basically, like a gratin. There is nothing fancy about it at all. But it can look very pretty when the vegetables are thinly sliced and laid with care. This method of preparation certainly makes the most of such humble humble of ingredients as summer tomatoes, zucchini and eggplant.

The overlapping, melting vegetables look very special and effortful but is easy enough to do as a weekday meal, especially if you already have a thickish homemade tomato sauce on hand.

This dish works great as a main meal or a side and depending on and how large your skillet is, you may not end up using all of the vegetables in this recipe but then again you might – just make sure to keep any leftover veggie bits for that Summer Ratatouille Sauce.

Oven-Baked Ratatouille

  • 2 zucchini (courgette), medium size
  • 2 yellow squash (summer squash),  medium size
  • 1 eggplant (aubergine), medium size
  • thickish homemade tomato sauce (enough to cover the base of your baking dish), about 350g OR use a good-quality store-bought Passata di Pomodoro or Tomato Passata (an uncooked tomato purée that has been strained of seeds and skins)
  • a few sprigs of lemon thyme, thyme or rosemary or whatever strikes your fancy
  • 50g shredded mozzarella NOTE: the cheese is optional, you could also opt to add some Ricotta Salata (a salted and dried cheese, providing a texture similar to feta cheese) to the finished dish
  • fresh basil (to serve) - try to change things up here and maybe use purple basil with that slightly spicy flavor as well as your regular basil 
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • a good fruity olive oil for brushing the vegetable and for serving

  1. Prepare your veggies: thinly slice all your veggies – this is best done using a mandoline but you can also slice each vegetable with a sharp knife, aim for thin slices.
  2. Preheat your oven to 180° C (350°F).
  3. Heat your homemade tomato sauce over medium-high heat. Once warmed, taste one more time for seasoning and then pour sauce into the base of your chosen baking dish (go with a pie or glass baking dish or use a cast iron pan).
  4. Next, layer the sliced vegetables in a spiral pattern around the dish and on top of the tomato sauce until the entire pan is covered.
  5. Brush with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Layer a few sprigs of herbs on top of the veggies.
  6. Cover the dish first with baking parchment, then tightly wrap with foil. Place the dish in the oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes covered. Check to make sure that the veggies have taken on some color, are soft and the sauce is bubbling around them.
  7. Remove the foil and the baking parchement, then the sprigs of herbs, then add some shredded mozzarella on top and return to the oven for another 10 to 15 minutes until the veggies are nice and soft, slightly charred and the cheese has melted.
  8. Very carefully remove from the oven and let cool for about 10 minutes before eating warm or at room temperature.
  9. Scatter a few basil leaves on top (optional), add a few drops of a fruity olive oil and some freshly ground black pepper (to taste).

Enjoy summer veggies at their peak. This Oven-Baked Ratatouille is a delicious, easy lunch to enjoy in the summer sunshine, just serve with fresh bread, a crisp salad and an assortment of herb-marinated olives.

July cooking is delicious.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Sacristains & Summer Vacation Vibes

Sacristains are a puff pastry specialty from Provence (Département Vaucluse) in the Southeast of France, to be exact. These crunchy puff pastry twists are generously filled and sprinkled with pearl sugar and slivered almonds. They can be found in most bakeries (boulangeries) and many markets (marchés) throughout Provence.

The origin if the name ‚Sacristains‘ is not entirely clear but the French word ‚Sacristains‘ means ‘parish clerk‘  in English, hence, an official designated to carry out various duties for a church parish. The twisted shape of the Sacristains is said to represent the shape of a parish clerk’s walking stick or the rope that was tied around said walking stick. Now, whether that is exact or not, it is a fun and interesting way to explain their name and one fact remains undoubted, namely, these Sacristains taste absolutely heavenly.

This recipe is easy to make and a delicious and rather decadent sweet treat. Use a roll of ready-made, all-butter, good quality puff pastry (pâte feuilletée)  that you buy at the grocery store near you or were lucky enough to have bought in France OR go all the way and make these Sacristains a real treat and make the puff pastry from scratch – believe me when I say that agreeable wheather (meaning cooler temperatures) is helpful when making these from scratch.

No matter whether you make the puff pastry yourself or not, just remember that to be true Sacristains, these treats have to be filled AND topped with sugar and almonds.

Personally, I like them to be elegant and long but you can opt for shorter versions too. Serve them alongside a fresh summer fruit salad, ice cream or milk shake. Come cooler temperatures, these are lovely alongside a steaming cup of coffee, tea, hot chocolate or a tall glass of milk. If you are looking for a bit more of that French flair, why not opt to serve them with a glass of ‚Sauternes‘ (that French sweet wine from the Sauternais region), much like you would serve Italian Cantuccini (Biscotti) dipped into Italian dessert wine called ‚Vin Santo‘ (from Tuscany).

Sacristains - Almond & Sugar Puff Pastry Sticks
(makes about 10 to 11 sticks)

  • 1 roll all-butter puff pastry (pâte feuilletée) – around here a roll of ready-made puff pastry weighs about 275g (if you chose to use store bought, make sure to get the fresh kind, as frozen puff pastry tends to un-roll less well) OR use homemade puff pastry
  • 1 egg yolk (M), free-range or organic 
  • 60g pearl sugar (divided into 40g and 20g)
  • 8g pure vanilla sugar (or use homemade vanilla sugar)
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon (I like to use Ceylon cinnamom)
  • 60g slivered almonds (divided into 40g and 20g)
  • a bit of icing sugar for dusting (optional)
In addition
  • a bit of regular flour for working the pastry
  • rolling pin
  • baking sheets and baking parchment

  1. Preheat the oven to 200° C (180° C convection).
  2. Line a large baking pan/cookie sheet with baking parchment and set aside: Depending on the size of your baking sheet, you may need two sheets and bake them off one after the other).
  3. Roll out the puff pastry. Using a sharp kitchen knife, straighten the sides of the pastry. Then cut the pastry in half.
  4. In a small bowl whisk the egg yolk with a bit of water (eggwash) and brush one side of the puff pastry (keep a little for the rest of the procedure).
  5. Top the half that you brushed with the eggwash, with 40g of the pearl sugar, then 4g of the vanilla sugar, a tad bit of cinnamon and then 40g of the slivered almonds.
  6. Fold the other half of the dough over and flatten the two halves together with a rolling pin to press in the ingredients.
  7. Brush the top of the surface with the rest of the eggwash.
  8. Sprinkle the top with pearl sugar (remaining 20g), 4g vanilla sugar, cinnamon and finally the remaining slivered almonds (20g).
  9. With a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut 10 to 11 (2cm) stripes and twist them against each other.
  10. Place the Sacristains on the baking sheet(s).
  11. Reduce the heat to 180°C (160°C convection).
  12. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until they become golden brown and crispy.
  13. Remove from the oven and pull them with the baking parchement onto a cooling rack. Allow to cool for a few minutes.
  14. Dust with icing sugar.
  15. Serve fresh from the oven, if possible. These taste best the day they were made but can be kept in a cookie tin for a few days. If you want to store them in a cookie tin, make sure to do so between layers of parchement and keep the tin in a cool room.

These Sacristains are great served as nibbles with a little French flare. Just think summer vacation in the Provence.

They are also very easy to make and while the traditional almond-pearl-sugar-version is my favorite kind, it is fun and equally easy to experiment with different fillings and flavors. I have seen them filled with a ‚Crème pâtissière‘ (a sort of vanilla custard), or a 'Ganache au chocolat‘ (chocolate ganache) or a ‚Crème fragipane‘ (almond filling) – much like the filling for my ‚Galette des Rois‘ (recipe and post here) – also with marzipan or homemade fruit jam. You can also opt to add a hint of orange or rose blossom water to their filling. But whatever be the filling of your choice, make sure to fill AND top them. And just let your taste buds and your imagination be your guide.

(Ad/Werbung): my recipe for French Sacristians from Provence is part of my series for a 'local' (meaning across the state of North Rhine-Westphalia) radio station, where, throughout the year, I talk about different baked goods that are closely tied to various holidays and seasons. If you are interested, have a listen (in German) HERE.

The various recipes can be found here:

  • in January, for Three Kings Day (Dreikönigstag) two kinds of Galette des Rois (Dreikönigskuchen) (HERE)
  • for Lent (Fastenzeit) Lenten Soup with Lenten Beugel (Fastenbeugel) (HERE)
  • for Good Friday (Karfreitag) Hot Cross Buns (HERE)
  • then for Pentecost /Whitsun (Pfingsten) the fun Allgäu Bread Birds (Allgäuer Brotvögel) (HERE)
  • today for the beginning of the summer vacation, I talked about these lovely Sacristains (Almond & Sugar Puff Pastry Sticks) (HERE)
  • for St. Christopher's Day (St. Christophorus), these energy-packed Müsli Power Bars (Müsli Energieriegel) (HERE
  • for Mary's Assumption Day (Mariä Himmelfahrt) my Tear & Share Herb Bread (Kräuterbrot) (HERE
  • for Mary’s Birthday (Mariä Geburt) some very pretty Mary’s Sweet Rolls (Süße Marienküchlein) (HERE) - more delicious treats to come very soon.