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Biscuits, Sweets & Treats: Springtime Calissons

By Bake Club

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Preparation time 30 minutes (plus drying)

Servings MAKES 30-40

These little almond flavoured sweets originated in Aix-en-Provence in the south of France but they are now popular all over the country, particularly in Paris. Sold in a decorative white and gold tin, which is the same oval shape as the calissons, you can make your own using the special cutters in the Springtime in Paris Bake Box.

  • For the calisson dough
  • 150g (5oz) crystallised (candied) melon
  • 50g (2oz) apricot jam or orange marmalade
  • 2tsp orange blossom water
  • 2-3 drops of bitter almond extract
  • 300g (11oz) ground almonds
  • 200g (7oz) icing sugar
  • For the royal icing
  • 1 egg white
  • 150g (5oz) icing sugar
  • Powdered or liquid food colourings
  
  • Making the calisson dough

     

    5 steps

  • 1

    Making the calisson dough Finely chop the crystallised melon with the apricot jam or marmalade in a food processor. Add the orange blossom water, bitter almond extract, ground almonds and icing sugar and process to make a smooth dough.

  • 2

    Making the calisson dough Remove the dough to a sheet of baking parchment, shape it into a ball and place another sheet of parchment on top. Roll out the dough until it is 1cm (½in) thick.

  • 3

    Making the calisson dough Remove the top sheet of parchment and leave the dough to dry out for at least 2 hours.

  • 4

    Making the calisson dough Cut out shapes using your calisson cutter and transfer the shapes to a clean sheet of parchment.
    How to use calisson cutters

  • Expert Tip

    When cutting out the calissons, regularly dip your cutter in warm water to prevent it sticking to the dough and to ensure your shapes have neat edges.

  • Making the royal icing

     

    4 steps

  • 1

    Making the royal icing Whisk the egg white until it is standing in firm peaks, add the icing sugar and whisk again until you have a smooth, shiny icing.
    How to make royal icing

  • 2

    Making the royal icing Tint the icing in shades of your choice by whisking in a little powdered or liquid food colouring.

  • 3

    Making the royal icing Spoon a little icing on top of each calisson and spread it to the edges with the back of the spoon. The icing will forms itself into a smooth, even layer.

  • 4

    Making the royal icing Leave the icing to dry for several hours in a cool place or dry in the oven, on its lowest setting, for 15 minutes. Leave to cool completely before moving the calissons.

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