These are our go-to biscuit for accompanying creamy desserts such as pannacotta, posset or ice cream. They're a cinch to make but do all sorts of wonderful things to your tastebuds. Amalfi lemon is the classic addition, but we've found bergamot is pretty sensational and we like orange zest too.
Makes approx. 25 biscuits
300g blanched almonds
200g white caster sugar
Seeds from ½ vanilla pod
Zest of ½ lemon or bergamot, plus a good squeeze of juice
1 large egg white
Icing sugar, to dust
Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/gas 3. Tip the almonds onto a baking tray in a single layer and put in the oven for about 10 minutes, shaking them occasionally, until they’re just beginning to turn golden. Remove and transfer to a plate to cool. Prepare the baking tray by lining it with greaseproof paper.
Place the almonds, half the sugar and the vanilla seeds in a food processor and whizz until not quite fine – you want a bit of texture. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the zest, juice and a good pinch of salt.
In a dry, clean bowl, whisk the egg white with an electric whisk until you have stiff peaks. Slowly start whisking in the remaining sugar and once incorporated, continue whisking for another couple of minutes until it’s stiff and glossy.
Fold the egg whites through the almonds – you want the mixture to be pretty stiff. Shape heaped teaspoons of the mix into balls (you may want to dampen you hands occasionally to prevent the mix from sticking to them) and place on the lined tray, leaving 2cm between each one.
Place in the oven for 10-15 minutes until golden on top, but with a little give when you touch them – they’ll harden as they cool. Remove and leave to cool on the tray, before dusting with icing sugar. Delicious with dessert wine or a cup of coffee. Will last for 1 week in an airtight container.