Piece of life
I love marzipan. It is a tradition in France to eat dried fruits and nuts stuffed with marzipan for Christmas and New Year’s Eve, and my mother has always been following this tradition. But at that time she was buying the marzipan. I really discovered marzipan during my years in Italy. I have a wonderful memory of our trip to Sicily and their famous pastries, including frutta di Martorana. For those who don’t know these are a reconstitution of fruits in marzipan. The visual is bluffing and the taste is divine. Nowadays you can find many bakeries that make small marzipan figures but those from Sicily are unique and if one day you travel there don’t miss them. But after having tasted this kind of marzipan it is difficult to go back to the industrial one.
And the solution was quite simple. During a chat with the pastry chef where we used to buy our cakes in Rome [Pasticceria 5 Lune if you’re interested, just behind Piazza Navona, it’s tiny and simple, but their pastries are very good. I particularly recommend the Mont-Blanc and the wild strawberry tart], she just told my mom how to make it. Since that time, we have never bought marzipan again.
To make homemade marzipan you will need almond powder [of course], confectioner’s sugar and some liquid. Traditionally marzipan is made with egg white. But the latter being raw the conservation is limited, and it is quite a problem for those who are allergic to eggs. But it is possible to substitute the egg white with water, or another liquid such as orange flower water. And then it is as easy as mixing all the ingredients together, and in 5 minutes it is ready. The marzipan can be eaten as it is, or used in cake preparations, e.g. for stollen.
1/ It is preferable to roast the almond powder to accentuate its flavour but it is not mandatory.
2/ You can vary the liquid : water, orange flower water, honey, egg white…
3/ I add a pinch of bitter almond aroma to enhance the taste of the almond but this is optional.
4/ Add a few drops of coloring to have almond paste of different colors.
5/ I make the recipe in a food processor [it’s even easier and it allows me to have an extremely fine almond powder and a very homogeneous paste] but it’s also very easy to do by hand.
6/ Once ready, film the marzipan and keep it in the fridge. It will gain in flavor by letting it rest for a few hours but you can also enjoy it immediately.
Marzipan egg free, ready in 5 minutes
- Food processor (optional)
- 200 g almond flower (roasted ideally)
- 100 g confectioner's sugar
- 1/2 tsp of natural bitter almond aroma
- 30 ml water (or another liquid like orange flower water, or egg white)
- Optional : roast the almond powder in the oven for 10 min at 180°C (350°F).
- In the food processor : add the almond powder and confectioners' sugar. Mix by small strokes until the 2 powders are well blended and the powder is very thin.
- Add the aroma and the water. Mix until the dough forms.
- Remove the dough from the food processor and finish working it by hand. You can add a few drops of coloring if you want to make colored dough (cut your dough in the number of colors you want to have, e.g. for 3 different colors separate the dough into 3 pieces).
- Form a sausage, film and store in the refrigerator.
- The marzipan is ready to eat but will gain in flavor after a few hours in the refrigerator.