- April 2019
- Makes 30
- Hands-on time 20 min, oven time 15-20 min, plus resting
delicious. reader Miriam Lewis wrote to us to tell us about these sweet almondy treats, traditionally eaten during the eight-day Jewish festival of Passover. This heirloom recipe was passed down to Miriam through her mother’s family.
Miriam says: “My family have been making these for generations, even in the 1940s when almonds were scarce, and eggs and sugar were rationed.
If you’re looking for the French recipe, you can find an easy-to-make macaroon recipe here.
- 4.7g (0.4g saturated)
- 7.6g (7.4g sugars)
- 225g ground almonds
- 200g caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
- 3 medium free-range egg whites (see Miriam’s tip; Two Chicks Free Range Egg White is available in most supermarkets)
- 15 whole blanched almonds, split in half lengthways (see tip)
You’ll also need…
- 2 baking trays lined with non-stick baking paper
- In a large mixing bowl, mix the ground almonds and sugar. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer on a slow speed until just frothy – it doesn’t matter if there’s still a bit of unbeaten egg white at the bottom.
- Add the egg whites to the almonds and sugar, 1 tbsp at a time, mixing after each spoonful. Keep going until the mixture is soft but not runny; you may not need to use all the egg white.
- Roll the mix into walnut-size balls and space them a few centimetres apart on the baking trays. Press a blanched almond half into the top of each one, flattening them slightly. Sprinkle a little caster sugar over the top of each, then leave them to sit for 10-15 minutes. Heat the oven to 190°C/170°C fan/gas 5.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until pale golden brown. The macaroons should still feel soft to the touch but they’ll continue to harden as they cool. Leave on the baking sheet for at least 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely. Serve with a cuppa.
Don’t be tempted to top with flaked almonds instead of the halved blanched almonds as they’ll burn.
If you’re making several batches of macaroons, I recommend using egg whites from a carton. They’re easy, there’s no wastage and the whites are liquefied, which makes them easier to work with.
Some people like the biscuits flatter and crisper, while some (like us) prefer them round and chewy. You can add the zest of half an orange but purists will object.
If you can wait, these mini sweet bites taste better the day after baking, and even better the day after that.
Passover commemorates the Jewish people’s hasty Exodus from Egypt. The Bible tells that this left no time for even the bread to rise,
so yeast-leavened and most wheat products are symbolically avoided during Passover, and substituted with ground almonds and potato flour. Most British Jews from an Ashkenazic (Central or Eastern European) background, even those who don’t often eat biscuits, will find themselves unable to drink a cup of tea at Passover without a plate of these almond macaroons on the table to at least look at.
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