The Sicilian almond paste is one of the symbols of the island's bakery, spread in different shapes and textures all over the Island: each type is yummy, temptress like cherries, because one leads to another. Are the almond pastries, in Sicily we call them ' almond paste ': Messina are small and candid, S-shaped in Catania, Bronte pistachio variant is, in the area of the Nebrodi and Etna that hazelnuts. All Sicilian almond paste can be left in their simple perfection or decorated with almonds, cherries and candied orange peel or even other types of dried fruit, as the pine nuts. The differences however are only outward, because the Interior is done always and only of ground almonds, that in Sicily are Avola almonds, granulated sugar and egg whites. Then a slight citrus hint given by lemon zest.
With only three ingredients no difficulty, You'll say. But no. These almond paste, who would be born in Palermo, around 1100, from the tireless work of the nuns of the convent of the Martorana (from which the colorful Martorana fruits), hide a pitfall: If you do not respect rest times melt in the oven like snow in the Sun. I, When should I bake a sweet can't wait to get it to eat it as soon as possible, I melted well 4 trays in various times. And I am telling you this: leave your dough biscuits with almonds to rest in the refrigerator for 24 hours and another 12 out of the refrigerator, so you'll have a truly optimal.
These cupcakes will keep well for several days in an airtight Tin, or you can wrap them one by one in white tissue paper: so will also become a beautiful Christmas gift. I remind you that the almond cakes are also popular in Calabria, Salento and Sardinia. And I like all. If you love sweets of my Sicily bedda, have a look at all my SWEET SICILIAN RECIPES.
The video recipe
To make your job easier, I went to Corsino Pasticceria Palazzolo Acreide and I turned VIDEO RECIPE the production of Sicilian almond paste: a job done even by hand, from grinding almonds.
ALMOND PASTE SICILIANE (Sicilian recipe)Print This
- 200 grams of peeled almonds of Avola
- 180 grams of caster sugar
- 20 grams of honey
- 60 grams of egg whites (2 medium egg whites)
- grated rind of one lemon organic
- powdered sugar for working the almond paste and decorate, to taste
- whole or candied almonds of Avola, to taste
To prepare the almond paste, put the almonds and sugar in a blender or in a food processor and blend until the almonds are not evenly chopped. When will be similar to a flour a little’ coarse, Add the egg whites, honey and lemon zest and whisk for another minute or two, until you have a smooth and firm.
At this point, If you are brave, you can put the mixture to the almond paste in a vent pastry bag or starry smooth and form your biscuits. Seen that, though, It is a very dense dough and therefore rather hard to squeeze with the piping bag, I would recommend that you form with your hands wet cords and then into balls of approximately 2 cm in diameter. Roll the balls in powdered sugar and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Slip on each cupcake an almond, a candied cherry or a candied orange peel.
Store the plate with the almond paste in the refrigerator and 'forget it’ for 24 hours, then let the almond paste at ambient temperature for 12 hours to dry, because the almond paste must dry out so that later in oven to melt. And it tells one that melted well 4 trays of almond paste for the rush.
After the interval of rest, Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and bake in a hot oven. Bake for 8-10 minutes (8 If you made of almond paste and small, 10 If you are a little’ larger). Remove from the oven pastries with almonds, allow to cool completely and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Bon appétit!
RESPECT THE REST TIMES: do not rush, rest in the refrigerator is absolutely critical. I advise you to wait until the fateful 24 hours before baking your sweets that, Once cooked, They will be retained for a long time closed in an airtight box.