Appears in
Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

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dariole dates to medieval Europe and has never left the French dessert repertoire, although it is considered old-fashioned now. It is a small tart with a pastry shell and a flavored milk and egg custard filling. The flavorings include butter and sugar and a “perfume,” such as rosewater, vanilla, cinnamon, or orange flower water. Some texts, such as Le ménagier de Paris (1393), give no recipe but simply list darioles on menus appropriate for weddings. Other texts, including Le viandier of Taillevent (published 1486) and early English manuscripts, have somewhat mangled instructions for making darioles. The Italian cook Martino (ca. 1465) offered a recipe for a single large custard tart called a dariola. The anonymous author of Le pâtissier françois (1655) includes a detailed dariole recipe that is for a single large tart made in a pastry-lined tourtière. By the eighteenth century, darioles were small custard tarts made in molds with fluted sides, and the word “dariole” now principally refers to this kind of mold. According to Larousse gastronomique (1938), dariole molds lined with puff pastry can be filled with frangipane, flavored with a liqueur, and sprinkled with powdered sugar after baking. See frangipane. In Le livre de pâtisserie (1873), Jules Gouffé flavors the custard with vanilla sugar, citron, orange, orange flower water, and crushed macaroons. Dariole does not appear in Julia Child’s classic Mastering the Art of French Cooking (1961).