Mirabelle Season in France
Today's post takes us to the Lorraine Région where one famous fruit, La Mirabelle, announces the transition of seasons from summer to fall. Walking through most markets, French people cannot escape the wonderful "étales" of this yellow, orange, and red plum. Join us through this post which shares the history of the Mirabelle and a few recipes for how to prepare it. Enjoy!
La Mirabelle is a yellow looking plum, quite similar to a cherry in shape but completely different in taste. It was first introduced in France five centuries ago by the Duc D'Anjou & De Lorraine in the XV Century. Mirabelle plums were apparently imported from China and then cultivated in the Lorraine Region, more specifically in the area of Metz. Indeed, the soil and the climate was so good for the development of the Mirabelle trees that the Académie Française officially recognized the fruit as La Mirabelle de Lorraine in 1762 (our French students know that when things are allowed by the Académie Française, it is serious!) Today, Lorraine accounts for 70% of the total worldwide production.
Its nickname is La Petite Reine de Lorraine or "The Small Queen of Lorraine" which is interesting because the word "mirabelle" comes from the Latin word mirabilis which means "beautiful to look at."
Shaped and colored like the sun, the yellow, orange, and red colors of the mirabelle might remind you of warm summer days spent with friends and family.
Tarte Lorraine aux Mirabelles
If you want to try one of the most traditional Lorraine deserts for August, try to make your own tarte following the recipe below (from Meilleur du Chef). It is absolutely delicious and we cannot wait for you to try it!
250g sweet shortcrust pastry ('pâte sucrée')
500g fresh Mirabelle plums (or tinned in syrup)
50g crème fraîche
1. Before starting this Mirabelle Plum Tart recipe, make sure you have organized all the necessary ingredients.
2. Make the sweet shortcrust pastry. Refrigerate for a few hours before use.
3. In a flat-bottomed pastry bowl, crack the whole eggs and pour the castor sugar in a thin stream.
To continue reading the step by step process with images click here.
Liqueur de Mirabelles
For all you bartenders out there, let's learn how to make your own Liqueur. This exciting recipe can be used in Kirs or when you have a digestive issue (according to French folklore, L'eau de Vie de Mirabelles can clear your digestive system). This drink is great to use when mixed with a white wine to make a Kir Lorrain. Start brewing yours following the recipe we found from Super Toinette and it is amazing!
1 kg of mirabelles
250 Caster sugar
1 L of 45° alcohol for fruits
1. Wash, drain , cut in half, leaving the core. Pour into a preserving pan
2. Take the caster sugar and alcohol ...Pour sugar and alcohol on plums and mix well.
Let soak in the tub for 4 days. Cover with a clean tea towel.
3. After four days ...the sugar has melted, stir. Transfer to jars, cap and leave to infuse for at least month.
4. After a month ...Filter with a strainer or a large colander. You can also filter through a clean cloth over a large bowl. Pour into bottles, seal well and store in a cool place. Wait two months before consuming.
We hope you enjoyed this delicious array of recipes in Mirabelle Season in France! We hope you have a wonderful (French-inspired) summer with your guests. If you are looking to learn more French language and culture, don't forget to check out our French Private Lessons, French Group Classes, and our cultural events at JP Linguistics. Bonne Journée!