Gorgeous, adorable, delicious religieuses… Each time we go back to France, we can’t resist the temptation of savouring ‘une religieuse’, a classic French pastry! As the French say, we fall for a “péché mignon” (a lovely sin)!
Religieuse is a traditional French pastry meaning “nun”. Its shape made up of two choux buns as it bears resemblance to an obese nun in a habit. The name of the pastry was attested from 1929 but it is thought that religieuse was created in the mid-19th century. Similar to an éclair, a religieuse is a one of the French’s favourite pastries. It is made of two pâte à choux buns. The large pastry case at the bottom (the nun’s head) is topped by a smaller one (her head). Both are filled with crème pâtissière (confectioner’s custard) of coffee, chocolate or vanilla flavours. Each case is covered in a ganache of the same flavour of the crème pâtissière and joined with a piped buttercream, referring to a ruffle (une fraise in French).
Today, many pâtissiers are working on new variations of religieuses. It is not rare in Paris and other parts of the Province to find in their window fronts rose, violet, blackcurrant, passionfruit or caramel flavoured religieuses.
Photos of Religieuses
Here are a few photos of religieuses we took in Paris and France.
Chestnut cream religieuse:
Caramel and salted butter religieuse:
The famous violet-flavoured religieuse from LaDurée: