I’ve been making variations of this little beauty all summer. Pretty much any fruit goes well with almonds, so all it takes is some fresh fruit and about 125mL of jam in a similar flavour.
The crust is a Martha Stewart recipe, although I’ve tweaked it slightly because it’s pressed into a pan, not rolled out. The frangipane itself is a recipe featured on a BBC food show called What to Eat Now. I’ve tweaked this a wee bit as well since I found the batter to be so soft that the fresh fruit added on top sunk into the batter before it could cook and firm up.
I’ve used plums here, but I’ve also used raspberries, peaches and it would work with apples or pears as well.
I know it’s not technically possible, but anyone looking in my cupboard would swear that I have all the almonds from the state of California. I know, I’m exaggerating, but it does seem that way. See, I’m still working through the swag from the almond event I went to back in November. The almond slices and slivers are unopened but I started to get concerned about the 3 pounds of almond flour.
Nut flours tend to go rancid pretty quickly – all that exposed surface area. So after a couple of attempts at macarons (I lied – so NOT as easy as you would think, those things are fussy!), I figured it was time to track down some other recipes that use almond flour or ground almonds.
I found this recipe in Gregg R. Gillespie’s 1001 Cookie Recipes where there are 57 recipes with “almond” in the title. These are “Almond Cakes III”; not to be confused with Almond Cakes II or VI, or almond cookies, almond crisps or almond crescents, all of which offer multiple recipes with their own Roman numerals.
I’ve never really thought about almonds. Oh sure, they’re a tasty nut, good as a snack or in baked goods. They come in a variety of forms; whole, blanched, sliced, slivered, ground and even milk. They can be eaten out of hand, added to pastries or to savoury dishes. But last week I attended an event that was all about the wonders of the California almond.
Our groovy multicultural supermarket had stacks of amaretti in their Italian section last night when we were buying groceries. I bought two packages and am considering going back for more.
The word amaretti is Italian for “little, bitter things”. Problem is, most amaretti are made from sweet almonds which are not really bitter at all.
My first encounter with the meringue-based cookie came in the late 80s when my then-boyfriend lived next door to an Italian bakery. We would buy huge boxes of their amaretti, along with delicious marzipan. These amaretti were larger, crunchy on the outside, soft and almost pasty on the inside. Like most amaretti made in North America, they were made with almonds.