Carolyne Kauser-AbbottDessertPies & TartsProvencal RecipesTaste

La Tourte de Fèves a Fava Bean Tart from Nice, France

Fève(s) is a French word with several meanings – a trinket in the epiphany cake, chocolate disks used by chocolatiers and in baking, and fava beans. So in this Niçoise dessert recipe, we are talking about fava beans for the tart (tourte) filling, egg, sugar, and hints of citrus.

The recipe for la Tourte de Fèves comes from Carnets de cuisine du Comté de Nice, a cookbook and a tribute to the essence of Cuisine Nissarde sharing food with family and friends. The recipe below was translated and published with the permission of the Office de Tourisme Métropolitain Nice Côte d’Azur. Available in French only, you can find Carnets de cuisine du Comté de Nice online at Amazon or the tourist office in Nice, France.

Beans and the Mediterranean

Since antiquity, beans and legumes have formed part of regional diets around the Mediterranean. Archival references and traces of these plants have been found where ancient populations lived in present-day Egypt, Greece, Italy, and Turkey. Generally easy to grow, dry and store, beans of varieties are an inexpensive protein that fed peasants and nobles alike, becoming a staple in most kitchens.

For more on the history of vegetables, Histoire des legumes by Georges Gibault, published in 1912, received a médaille d’or par la Société Nationale d’Horticulture de France. This book is still considered a well-researched guide to the origins of some 100 plants.

Walnut and Honey Tart Tourte au Miel et aux Noix

Fava Bean Tart - la Tourte de Fèves

Carnets de cuisine du Comté de Nice
Considered part of the culinary traditions of Nice – Cuisine Nissarde - la Tourta ai Fava is a timeless dessert that requires patience and time, as the cooking takes place over two days. But the sweet result is well worth it!
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Resting Time 8 hours
Course Dessert
Cuisine Cuisine Nissarde, French, Provencal
Servings 6 people



For the Dough:

  • 100 g Flour
  • 50 g Butter
  • 20 g Sugar
  • 1 large Egg
  • 15 g Almond Powder
  • Zest of 1 lemon

For the Filling:

  • 200 g Dried Fava Beans shelled
  • 1 zest of lemon
  • a little Grated Nutmeg
  • 1 large Egg well-beaten
  • 1 sachet of Vanilla Sugar
  • 120 g of Sugar
  • ½ Glass 4 oz of white wine
  • ½ glass of Peanut Oil
  • ½ glass of Orange Blossom Water
  • 30 ml of Branda eau de vie de mare


The Day Before (make the filling):

  • Soak the beans in warm water, and cook them in cold, salted water. When cooked (about twenty minutes), drain them and pass them through a fine vegetable mill.
  • Add the other ingredients: lemon zest, grated nutmeg, egg, vanilla sugar, sugar, white wine, peanut oil, orange blossom water and branda. Mix all the ingredients well, making uniform stuffing.
  • Cover and put in the fridge overnight.

The Next Day (make the pastry and bake):

  • Taste the filling and adjust according to your taste by adding sugar and/or alcohol. The stuffing should be not too liquid and not too thick, the consistency of pancake dough.
  • Prepare the pastry base using all the ingredients and divide it into two portions.
  • Oil your pie dish and cover it with a thin layer of pastry dough, and cover the sides of the dish.
  • Add the filling in a thick layer on top of the dough and cover it with a second sheet of pastry.
  • With a little warm water, pinch the two edges of the pastry to form a small joint. Use scissors to make a few holes in the top of the pastry, brush with oil, add a sprinkle of caster sugar and bake in a hot oven 350°F – 400 °F (180°C to 200°C) for 45 minutes.
  • The dough should turn a beautiful brown, and the pie will perfume your kitchen.
  • Serve warm.
Keyword Beans, Tartes, Tarts
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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Carolyne Kauser-Abbott

With her camera and laptop close at hand, Carolyne has traded in her business suits for the world of freelance writing and blogging. Her first airplane ride at six months of age was her introduction to the exciting world of travel.

While in Provence, Carolyne can be found hiking with friends, riding the hills around the Alpilles or tackling Mont Ventoux. Her attachment to the region resonates in Perfectly Provence this digital magazine that she launched in 2014. This website is an opportunity to explore the best of the Mediterranean lifestyle (food & wine, places to stay, expat stories, books on the region, travel tips, real estate tips and more), through our contributors' articles.

Carolyne writes a food and travel blog Ginger and Nutmeg. Carolyne’s freelance articles can be found in Global Living Magazine, Avenue Magazine and City Palate (Published Travel Articles).

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