In Italy, the almond paste is used as base to make different kinds of sweets such as macarons, buiscuits or the mastromandorlo. In Apulia, the almond paste is called Royal Paste and they use it to make sweets at Christmas or for weddings.
Here is the old recipe for the almond paste that you can make at home to create tasty christmas biscuits.
- 1kg of almonds with the skin;
- 500gr of caster sugar;
- Cinnamon or clove flavour;
- Lemon zest (squeeze one lemon);
- Some sweet liquor (as you like it)
Method. First of all, boil the almonds with the skin in water. When you see that the skin comes off easily, simmer them and then peel them.
When they are ready, put them in a mixer and process untill they become smoothy crumbles. After, put in a saucepan some water and add the sugar. Cook on low heath the sugar and the water together, stirring al the time. After a couple of minutes add the ground almonds and the lemond zest and keep stirring until the sugar and the almonds are well mixed together. If you would like you can add a couple of tea spoons of sweet liquor.
When the mix is smooth and soft, swich off the heath and put it on a humid surface (in could be even your kitchen table as long as it is clean). Leave the almond paste to cold down for 40 minutes. Then you can put the paste in the frindge for a couple of hours to make it dry. Finally the almond paste is ready and you can make your biscuits.
Remember: this recipe does not contain egg whites, however there is another recipe to bake Sicilian almond biscuits that contains eggs.