Our Nephrite recipe, Halloween pie

The warm scent of orange blossom invades the area around the oven. About ten people work in the bakery factory. “Anyone to fill the cream?” » Dominique Jovillier, the baker, gives his instructions. Every year, between mid-October and mid-November, niflettes, a Provine specialty, are invited to the Halloween table.

present in abundance

“We are only at the beginning. The peak has not yet been reached, Define literal. We start with 1,500 a day, and on November 11, the day of the Nevliet Festival, we go up to 6000. On average, the city’s bakeries produce nearly 50,000 each for a month.

This little flan, made of puff pastry covered with pastry cream flavored with orange blossom and vanilla, delights the residents of Provence (Seine-et-Marne) and the surrounding area: “With coffee, it’s extra, Lawrence’s client gets excited. I consider it for myself, for my loved ones. The ones you just bought are going to Clermont-Ferrand. »

A dime a dozen, that’s how they’re sold. “It takes five days to make puff pastry, Defines Dominique Jovilliers. Fold the dough and divide it, embed the butter in it for three days and let it rest for two days. » Although it is similar to pastis de nata, which originated in Portugal, it is not related. But where does this little pie come from?

mysterious origin

“No flute”, Don’t Cry: This would be the origin of the word nevlet in the Middle Ages. On the day of All Saints Day, he distributed condolences to orphaned children, in front of the graves of their fathers.

Luc Duchamp, Chief Heritage Trustee in Provence, remains skeptical of its origin: “There is no historical monument attesting to its existence in the Middle Ages. The first manifestations date back to the Second Empire.” If the rose water that it consists of appeared in the eleventh century in Europe with the Crusaders, “puff pastry appeared only during the Renaissance”, Coordinator says.

Then everyone tries to find an explanation. Journalist Justin Bellanger points out, in the Provence newspaper of November 1, 1889, that nevlet would come from nevel The word Picard refers to the nostril. According to him, perhaps the baker Picard came to Provence to bring pastries, shouting in the streets. “nipple”, or “smell and smell (good pastry)”.

Historians groping

Many songs have been written about him. In verses, some report that bakers sold it on the streets, wearing a hat and a bell. Historian François Verdier, who specializes in local history, sees a connection to the carnival at the beginning of the year. He wonders: “Is this custom of niflettes in place in the Provenue calendar? » Halloween, generally experienced as a celebration of the dead, is nonetheless Halloween – it should still be festive!

François Verdier continues his reflection by pointing to the shuttle, the menorah cake distributed in Marseilles, and similar to the boat: a nevlét, a small saucer, wouldn’t it be a symbol of a boat that transports the spirits of the world? To the realm of the dead?

The tradition kept the legend of the orphan cake, and it continues: on November 11, the city, like every year, will celebrate its pastries.

the recipe

puff pastry ingredients
600 grams of flour
300 grams of water
14 grams of salt
80 grams of butter.

Pastry cream ingredients
1 liter milk
1 vanilla bean
6 egg yolks
250 grams of sugar
100 gm cornstarch
50 grams of orange blossom water.

Prepare the puff pastry. Mix flour, water and salt until you get a cohesive dough. Roll it up. Put room temperature butter in the middle. Fold the dough on itself to make a square. Leave to rest for a few hours in the refrigerator.

Roll out the dough again. Repeat the folding process two or three times a day for two days. Leave it to rest for two days in the refrigerator.

Prepare the cream of the dough. Boil milk with vanilla. Leave it to soak for 10 minutes. Remove the capsule.

Beat egg yolks with sugar, add starch, then lukewarm milk. Heat the mixture over a low heat, stirring, until you get a cream. Put in the fridge overnight.

The next day, mix the mixture with a whisk, mixing in the blossom water.

Roll out the puff pastry dough, cut out circles with biscuit cutters and place them on a baking tray. Decorated with a bag of cream. Bake at 240 ° C for 25 minutes. Enjoy the warmth.

Leave a Comment