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Navette de Saint-Victor Recipe

Provencal French cuisine

Gallery of 2 photos for Navette de Saint-Victor

The navette is a cylindrical sweet-pastry from Marseilles with a "fleur d'oranger" flavor. It's baked in the shape of a boat (navette), an oval 7-8 cm long with the ends tapered in sharply, and commemorates the arrival of St Lazarus and the two "Marys", Saint Mary Magdalene and Saint Martha, who arrived here in Provence, at Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, on the 2nd of February about 2000 years ago.

The Four des Navettes, beside the Abbaye de Saint-Victor in the heart of Marseilles, has been baking the navette continuously since 1781. The peak of consumption occurs on the 2nd of February for the Fête de la Chandeleur (Candlemas procession).

This is one of the rare biscuits made without yeast, and can be kept all year; it only needs to be warmed up before eating. There are three types available in Marseilles:

"Navette â la fleur d'oranger" is the classic.

"Navette Marseillaise" skips the fleur d'oranger.

"Navette Provencale has the fleur d'oranger, but is softer and does't keep as long.

Serves: (for 1 kg dough)
Preparation, Resting, Cooking: 3-1/2 hours


500 g flour [farine]
250 g sugar
75 g butter
3 eggs
1 zest lemon peel

5 cl orange flower water
5 cl water
1 teasp milk
1 egg yolk [jaune d'oeuf]

A zeste de citron is a single strip of peel from a lemon.

1. Put the water and orange flower water (fleur d'oranger) together.

2. Put the flour and sugar into a mixing bowl and grate in the lemon peel.

3. Add the butter, 3 eggs and orange-water and and mix into a stiff dough.

4. Set the dough in a warm place for 1 hour.

5. Separate the dough into small balls about 50 g each.

6. Roll each ball out to an oval, pinching the two ends down sharply.

7. Put the ovals of dough on a buttered baking tin, and dent down the center of each, making the boat (navette) form.

8. Set aside for 2 hours.

9. Beat the egg yolk and milk together and paint it (dorer) onto the top of each navette.

10. Cook in a medium oven.

Conversions 30 g = 1 oz = 2 Tbs   180 g = 6 oz = 3/4 cup  
1 kg = 2.2 lbs 1 lt = 1.06 qt  60 g = 2 oz = 1/4 cup 225 g = 8 oz = 1 cup
0.45 kg = 1 lb   0.95 lt = 1 qt 115 g = 4 oz = 1/2 cup   450 g = 16 oz = 1 pint

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