A small round and tasty cake (to be enjoyed without moderation):
the macaroon of Saint-Emilion!
Last year, I was lucky enough to go early in the morning to Nadia Fermigier's Macaroon Factory to witness the making of these little delights. I remember walking up rue Guadet and even before I arrived on the doorstep of the shop, I could already smell the gourmet fragrance of the macaroons. So I rushed in!
That morning, I was greeted by Nadia, Didier and the whole team there. We head towards the back shop: where the serious things have already started several hours ago. Every day, the macaroons are made there by hand with only three ingredients: real sweet and bitter almonds, fresh egg white and sugar. If the Saint-Émilion macaroon is celebrating its 400th anniversary this year, it is because the recipe used by Nadia Fermigier is the same as the one invented by the Ursuline Sisters in 1620.
What a pleasure it is to watch the different stages of preparation, I take the opportunity to photograph the expert gestures of the pastry chefs. First, the almonds are peeled one by one by hand. They are then crushed to create a paste which will be mixed with the whites which are beaten into snow. The macaroons are then formed from a piping bag and then each one is sweetened by hand and baked in the oven.
The macaroons then cool for a few moments before being placed in tins and eaten.
As you can imagine: whether they are composed of 12, 24 or 36 macaroons, these tins never last long. The shop is full of other specialities from the region. It is therefore very difficult to resist the temptation, words of greedy!
Can't get enough of the famous Saint-Émilion macaroon? Then find here an article published in our magazine My Saint-Émilion 2019: shorturl.at/vDLM5!