Sharon Tyler Herbst calls these orange custard cookies “tiny two-bite tarts.” Actually, she calls them “tiny two-bite cookies,” but tarts is much more alliterative, don’t you agree? And they certainly look like tiny tarts.
These are among the more fussy confections in The Joy of Cookies, but the effort is worth the result. The yield is allegedly 24 mini-muffin-sized treats, but I found that the ingredients would easily make at least 30. The flaky pastry cup holds an almond custard filling flavored … no, scented — perfumed, even — with orange blossom water and fresh orange zest. The custard rises as it bakes and forms a gorgeous little top crust. And the taste is a mouthful of sunshine. Ok, two mouthfuls.
I consulted my ancient Cassell’s French-to-English from grad school days. Mirliton is a reed-pipe, a cream-roll or a conical shako, according to it, and a vers de mirliton is a doggerel. I assume one plays a vers de mirliton on a reed-pipe whilst wearing a conical shako? The only other clue to the origin of the connection between name and the confection is perhaps found at this blog link: With a Glass. I wouldn’t mind going to Rouen to investigate further!