How to make Calissons

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!

I left the Calissons to rest overnight, and then I cut through the incisions.

Very pretty, very tasty, and guess what my French girlfriend is getting this year for Xmas from me!

Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©


  1. Oh, goodness, these look divine! Wishing you the sweetest of holidays!


  2. Thank you Eggy :-)!

    Sweet holidays to you too!

  3. Never thought of making calissons this much easily, very elegant..

  4. Out of the world, Hope you enjoy the elegance of the calissons this Holiday season.

  5. Those look amazing! I sure wish I lived close by, so I could try one. :o)

  6. Perfect for a sweet tooth! The use of orange blossom was a great choice. The sweet is new to me but worth trying.

  7. I was delighted to be presented with a package containing Calisson from Maison Durandeu. They were divine so I set about finding a recipe to make some and so glad I have found this one which is so easy ---and delicious too. So guess what Christmas presents will be this year from Thank you so much for sharing your recipe with me.


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