A few years ago a French girlfriend gave me some Calissons for Xmas. It was love at first bite, and I always wanted to make them myself.
I looked around on the net, as you do, but I didn’t find a recipe I liked, or a recipe that made me think of that taste… one blog had a recipe with apricot jam among the ingredients, but I was sure I didn’t taste apricot jam in those Calissons from Aix en Provence!
So I got out my copy of the Laorusse Gastronomique, a good French tome, not very precise when it comes to describe Italian food, but for French food… well, it is my best reference. There was not a recipe, only indications that they are made with 40% blanched almonds, and 60% crystallized fruit (melon with a little orange), mixed with sugar syrup and a little orange flower water.
I blanched some almonds, like for the marzipan, and used my usual mixture of candied melon/papaya. I had some orange blossom water, very strong, so I decided not to add candied citrus peel.
I used 80 g of almonds for 120 g of fruit. I didn’t want to add more sugar to the mixture, so I heated the fruit with 50 ml of water until the water was almost all evaporated and the fruit was soft. I blended the fruit with the almonds and then added the orange blossom water. The mixture wasn’t very fine, I suppose it was too little to mix properly in the food processors, but I also liked the texture I got.
I spread it over a rice paper sheet, and covered it with some baking paper to roll it evenly with a rolling pin.
Then I made the icing, traditionally this is made with egg white and icing sugar, but Vegans can use water. This need so much sugar! About 8 tbsp for an egg white, depending on its size.
I spread the icing over the Calissons, and then I waited for one hour and made some incisions with a knife. I did this because I feared that if I were to cut the Calissons when the icing was set it would crack. Also note that I do not have a Calisson mould, I had to invent my own method!