With the help of my fairy godmother, Sylvie Razous, I have learned how to turn pumpkins into a delicious and traditional dessert from the department of the Tarn.
It’s a long process – Sylvie starts work on a Wednesday in order to have her mesturets ready for the Saturday morning market in Revel. This, and the fact that peeling and chopping tough-skinned squash is hard work, explains why today only one other professional in the department makes the mesturet.
But in the home, every ancient family seems to have its own recipe and continues to use it because the mesturet retains a special place in the hearts of the people of the Midi. There is plenty of scope for adaptation to suit one’s personal taste, even though there are only three main ingredients – squash, flour and sugar. Perhaps this is why so many home cooks proudly claim that their mesturet recipe – or the recipe they have inherited from their mother, grandmother, wife or even uncle – is the best in the world.