Guess who's back? Back again. Meriem's back. Tell a friend.
Eid Mubarak/Happy Eid my lovelies! I'm back and on a very special day too! Today is Eid, the Islamic holiday that celebrates the end of Ramadan. To make today extra super special, I've gathered up a group of my food blogger friends and we're celebrating Eid on the interwebs together! How fun, right?!
For our virtual Eid party, I chose to make a very popular Algerian no-bake dessert: almond paste fruits! Now, I really wanted to call these marzipan fruits but after doing some extensive research, I discovered that almond paste is actually not the same thing as marzipan. Marzipan has a larger ratio of sugar to almonds, whereas almond paste has an almost equal amount of almonds and sugar. Apparently, the larger proportion of sugar in marzipan makes it more pliable and easier to shape than almond paste, but I think you could achieve a pretty similar effect with almond paste, and it will taste better too!
And just to ensure they're not lacking in the taste factor, we go the extra mile and stuff them with a flavored almond/cookie based mixture as well. You could also actually flavor this mixture with different extracts and jams corresponding to each fruit if you wanted to. Like, strawberry jam for the strawberries or lemon extract for the lemons. I kept mine basic, as this was my first time making these on my own and I was really short on time because I, the brilliant host of the party, waited until the last minute to decide what I was making!
In any case, I think I did a pretty decent job. The apricots were my favorite, and the bananas were a close second.
These are a really simple and delicious dessert to put together, but the making of each fruit is a bit time consuming so I don't think I'll be making these again unless it's a very special occasion. But you should definitely halve the batch and give these a try, they're sure to impress anyone who sees them!
Algerian Almond Paste FruitsYield: 30 fruits, but it depends on the size/type of the fruit
Ingredients:For the filling:
1 cup almond flour
1 cup ground tea biscuits
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons Turkish halva
1/4 teaspoon orange blossom water
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
1 extra large egg white
For the almond paste:
4 cups almond flour
3 cups powdered sugar
pinch of vanilla powder (or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract)
3 large egg whites
2 tablespoons whipped butter, plus more as needed
Food coloring, as needed
Directions:In a large bowl, whisk together almond flour, ground tea biscuits, and granulated sugar. Add Turkish halva, orange blossom water, and melted butter, and mix together until mixture is moistened. Add egg white and combine with your fingers until mixture comes together into a ball. Cover and set aside.
In another large bowl, whisk together almond flour, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Add egg whites, one at a time, until mixture comes together into a ball. Once the egg whites are incorporated, add whipped butter and mix it in with your hands until the ball of almond paste is smooth and pliable. The mixture should be easy to work with, as you will be molding it into shapes. Add as much whipped butter as you see fit.
Roll the stuffing mixture into balls. Then cover, and set aside.
At this point, you will portion out the almond paste into however many fruits you would like to make. Use the food coloring to dye each portion the appropriate color.
To make fruits, take a piece of the dyed almond paste and roll it into a ball. Then flatten it out into a disk. Place a ball of stuffing into the center and wrap the almond paste around it tightly, making sure it's completely sealed. This process is demonstrated here. After this, mold the ball into whatever shape fruit you are making.
If the almond paste starts getting dry and difficult to work with, add more whipped butter to it. If it is too wet, add powdered sugar.
Set the finished fruits out on the counter to dry, then store in an airtight container at room temperature.
Check out what everyone else brought to the party!
Algerian Almond Paste Fruits by Culinary Couture
Moroccan Bisteeya by Club Narwhal
Pistachio Orange Rice Pudding by A Clean Bake
Bread Halwa by 40 Aprons
Shahi Tukda/ Pakistani Saffron Bread Pudding by La Tour De Force
Double Chocolate Baklava by The Sweet Tooth Life
Soft and Chewy Tahini, Honey, and Almond Cookies by An Edible Mosaic
Cashew Baklava Fingers by Wandering Spice