I made this for a recipe that I’ll be posting in the next two weeks, but I thought it should have it’s own post. I brought some of it for the Montengarde Culinary Group meeting yesterday.
Modern Marzipan uses a 5:3 ratio of blanched ground almonds to sugar then adding rosewater until the texture is right (between one and two parts). However An Anonymous Andalusian Cookbook (13th century Spanish), Das Kuchbuch der Sabina Welserin (16th century German), and Delights for Ladies (16th century English) use a 1:1 ratio of almonds to sugar so I’ll be using the same. You can make this in your mortar but this time I’m using my kitchen servant, aka food processor, to speed things up.
Fruit Made of Sugar [Marzipan]
Add one part of sieved sugar to one part of cleaned and pound almonds. Knead it all with rose water and roll your hand in almond oil and make with it whatever you want of all fruits and shapes, if God wishes.
22 If you would make good marzipan
First take a half pound of almonds and soak them overnight in cold well water, take them out in the morning. Next pound them well until they become oily, pour a little rose water on them and pound them further. When they become oily again, then pour a little more rose water thereon. Do this until they no longer become oily. And pound the almonds as small as possible. After that take a half pound of sugar, pound not quite all of it in, leaving a little left over. Next, when the almonds and sugar are pounded well together, put them in a bowl, take the lid from a small box, loosen the rim completely, so that it can be detached and put back on again, however leave the lid and the rim together. Take wafers and make them about as wide as a pastry shell, very round. Spread the almond paste described above with the fingers onto the wafers, moistening the fingers with rose water and dipping the almond paste into the sugar, which you have kept in reserve. After that, when you have spread it out evenly with your hands, take the sugar that you have reserved and sprinkle it through a sieve evenly over the marzipan. And take a small brush and dip it in rose water and sprinkle the marzipan overall, so that the sugar is dissolved. Then let it bake. Check it often, so that it is not burnt. It should be entirely white. The amount of a half pound is necessary, so that the oil remains.
18. To make a Marchpane.
Take two pound of Almonds, being blanched and dryed in a sieve over the fire: beate them in a stone mortar; and when they bee small, mix them with too pound of sugar being finely beaten, adding 2 or 3 spoonfuls of Rose-water, and that will keepe your Almonds from oyling. When your paste is beaten fine, drive it thin with a rowling pin, and so lay it on a bottome of wafers: then raise up a little edge on the side and so bake it: then yce it with Rose-water and Sugar: then put it into the oven againe; and when you see your yce is risen up and dry, then take it out of the oven and garnish it with pretty conceits, as birds and beasts, being cast out of standing moulds. Sticke long comfits upright in it: cast biskets and carrowaies in it, and so serve it: gilde it before you serve it: you may also print off this marchpane paste in your moulds for banquetting dishes: and of this paste our comfit-makers at this day make their letters, knots, Armes, Escocheons, beasts, birds, and other fancies.
The three methods are essentially the same, though they give different options on what to do with the paste.
- 100 g blanched ground almonds
- 100 g powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp rosewater (extra if needed) (if you don’t like rosewater use egg white mixed with almond extract or use a mixture of lemon juice, almond extract, and water)
- Pulse almond meal and powdered sugar in food processor until fully combined
- Add rosewater 1/2 tbsp at a time until it becomes a dough, pulsing in between (it may only take 1 tbsp)
- Turn out onto surface and knead a few times
- Roll into log, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed