The Religieuse pastry is one of the most emblematic desserts of French cuisine. But how was it created ?

The shape of a nun

Its rounded and generous shapes, its buttercream collar and its icing make it one of the most emblematic desserts of France.
But why did you give the name “religieuse” (nun) to this pastry? It would seem that it would come from the shape and the color of the cabbages which would recall those of the dresses of the nuns.

The religieuse is no longer as successsful

As for its creation, it dates back to 1856, when Frascati, an ice cream parlor of Neapolitan origin, offered it to the customers of his famous Parisian café, the success was immediate. However, it took the invention of the pastry bag to give it this chubby shape. At the time, it was only composed of a square of choux pastry filled with pastry cream and topped with whipped cream. The success is immediate. Its recipe, in addition to its original shape and chubby aesthetics, is based on a choux pastry filled with pastry cream in different flavors, coffee or chocolate. Composed of two distinct bodies and a buttercream-based decoration to perfect the work and above all to distinguish it from the éclair. The drama is precisely this identical basic recipe. Time being money, French pastry artists opt and bet on the gain and the time of manufacture: the éclair is faster to rise than the nun. For the record, the éclair is older, it appeared around 1850, still in France, under the name of “Pain à la Duchesse” or “Petite Duchesse”. Today, however, it is no longer as successful, its long manufacturing time and its high caloric content have made pastry chefs and their customers prefer to opt for its simplified version, the éclair.

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