I’m loving strawberry season at the moment. Last week I picked up 1 kilogram of delicious strawberries from one of the strawberry farms near us, and they are absolutely amazing. They are so sweet, plump and juicy that we have been eating au naturale. In fact we’re loving strawberry season so much we’re heading to the strawberry farm today to take my fiance’s two sons strawberry picking. So no doubt we’ll be coming home with a mountain of strawberries, so you’ll probably be seeing a few more strawberry recipes over coming weeks.
Today we’re kicking things off with Strawberry Ricciarelli. I’d never heard of Ricciarelli before, when I stumbled upon a recipe in my Delicious Baking cookbook, but the fact they used whisked egg whites had me sold as I had 2 egg whites left over in the refrigerator as well as an abundance of beautiful strawberries.
Not having made Strawberry Ricciarelli before I wasn’t sure what to expect of the texture, however they remind me somewhat of the chocolate rochers I made a couple of years ago. They are delicately crumbly clouds with the delicious sweetness of strawberries hidden inside.
Upon researching the origin of Ricciarelli, or Sienese Almond Cookies as they are also called, a traditional Italian biscuit originating from Siena in the 14th century, I was a little disappointed to discover that the recipe I had is quite different to the traditional. Firstly, it appears the traditional recipes use almond meal or flour, not the coarsely ground almonds that my recipe called for. Also, the traditional recipe calls for the egg whites and almond meal to be mixed together to form a paste which is then set aside for anywhere from an hour up to overnight before they baked.
Differences aside, the cookies are delicious, however next time I think I will use almond meal and mix the mixture into a paste and set the cookies aside for an hour before baking. It’s up to you if you want to do this should you decide to try this recipe.
- 300g of blanched almonds, toasted and coarsely ground or almond meal
- grated zest of 1 orange
- 200g of caster sugar
- 2 egg whites
- 100g of strawberries hulled and chopped
- icing sugar, to dust
- Preheat the oven to 160 degrees and line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
- Using an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment whisk the egg whites until they form firm peaks. Gradually add 100g of the caster sugar and beat until smooth and glossy. In a separate bowl combine the remaining sugar, almonds and orange zest and mix to combine. Add to the egg whites, along with the strawberries and fold through.
- Using 2 dessert spoons, form the mixture into ovals and place on the baking trays spaced approximately 3cm apart. Dust with icing sugar and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until lightly golden but still soft in the center. Cool on the tray for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.