Stage 12 - Fougères/Tours: This dish is from the central Loire Valley region. This lovely specialty from the Loire Valley town of Tours is actually not a nougat, but a cake filled with confit fruits and a type of almond meringue called macaronade (macaron mixture).
- 400 g (14 oz) sweet shortcrust pastry
- 60 g (¼ cup) apricot jam
- 150 g (5 oz) diced confit fruits (a variety of 3 or 4)
- 80 g (3½ oz) almond meal
- 80 g (3½ oz) caster sugar
- 3 egg whites
- a pinch of cream of tartar
- 50 g (2 oz) icing sugar
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/Gas 6).
Roll the pastry out thinly and line it in a 20 cm (8 inch) cake or tart mould with high sides. Spread the base of the pastry with apricot jam and the top with confit fruits.
Mix the almond meal with the caster sugar and sift together.
Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar into stiff peaks. Gently fold in the almond meal and sugar preparation, then spread this on top of the confit fruits, smoothing the top with a spatula. It’s best if the egg white reaches just short of the edges of the pastry.
Dust the top generously with icing sugar and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes. Make sure the pastry has browned and is cooked. Allow to cool before serving.
Photography by Benito Martin
Styling by Jerrie-Joy Redman-Lloyd