‘Tis the season…of the mirabelle in France- Lorraine, France (home of the quiche) to be exact! Lorraine is a region located in northeastern France, still referred to by many as Alsace-Lorraine, though the two regions are actually separate now.
At this time of year, especially in the capital of Metz (pronounced “mess”) and many surrounding villages, the Lorrains are celebrating La Fête de la Mirabelle, a celebration complete with a parade, concerts, art exhibits, fireworks, and even a queen!
So, wait. What is a mirabelle, and why are they celebrating it?
Glad you asked! The Mirabelle is a small, sweet, golden plum. It has become an emblem of the region and a staple of la cuisine Lorraine, used to make jams, tarts, soufflés, and eau de vie (but of course!) So, what’s not to celebrate? This year marks the 64th annual Mirabelle Festival that lasts until September 7th.
Tarte aux mirabelles, anyone? Bon appétit!
Mirabelle plum pie with a kind of crunchy marzipan
Ingredients: 750g mirabelle plums – 60g melted butter – 90g sugar – 90g powdered almonds – 2 eggs – 1 Tbsp orgeat syrup ) 30g sliced almonds – 1 shortcrust pastry
Rinse and stone the plums but make sure you do NOT halve them. If you just cut them halfway you can take the stone out but leave the fruit as it is.
In a bowl, mix together the butter and sugar. Add the almond powder, eggs, orgeat syrup and mix well again. Add sliced almonds (save 1 Tbsp) and quickly mix.
Line a tart mold with the pastry. Pour the almond batter and evenly add the mirabelle plums. Sprinkle with the saved sliced almonds.
Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C/350°F for around 35 minutes.
Serve warm or cold. And if you like it, you can always dust it with icing sugar!