Few treats call to mind of our travels in Provence more than nougat. We pine for the Calissons and quince paste we so happily devoured during our soujourn. But it’s the nougat de Montélimar we so often sought out at farmers’ markets or in the local pâtisseries that truly spells France for us. Something about the melange of nuts and honey–not to mention the scents of lavender and the nearby Mediterranean–have us feeling très française. Even if all that finger-licking afterwards is a tad gauche.
- ½ cup plus 2 tbsp honey
- 1⅓ cups plus 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp light corn syrup
- 3 tbsp water
- 1 egg white
- 1½ cups unblanched almonds, toasted
- ¼ cup pistachios
- Line a 9-by-4-inch loaf pan with parchment paper. In a medium saucepan, warm the honey over medium-high heat until it registers 255°F on a candy thermometer. In a separate medium saucepan, combine the 1⅓ cups sugar, corn syrup, and water and cook over medium-high heat until the mixture registers 285°F, swirling occasionally. Meanwhile, in the clean, dry bowl of a stand mixer, whip the egg white and remaining 1 tbsp sugar on low speed with the whisk attachment until foamy. With the mixer running, slowly pour in the warm honey, followed by the hot sugar syrup. Continue beating on low speed for 5 minutes more, until the mixture is lukewarm. Meanwhile, heat the almonds and pistachios in a medium frying pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until warm to the touch. To check if the nougat is ready, scoop up a small amount with a spoon and dip it into cold water; it should form a firm ball. Add the warm nuts to the nougat and fold with a spatula until well combined.
- Spoon the nougat into the prepared loaf pan, cover, and allow to cool overnight at room temperature. The next day, remove the nougat from the pan and, with a serrated knife, cut it lengthwise into 6 slices. Wrap each slice in plastic wrap to protect it from humidity. (Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.)