The church biscuit: 28. Sour cherry amaretti


Sour cherry amaretti (based on a recipe by Yotam Ottolenghi)

Sour cherry amaretti (based on a recipe by Yotam Ottolenghi)

Any biscuit with a substantial amount of ground almond goes down really well with the after church cup of coffee. As I try to make a different biscuit each week, I was delighted to discover variant of this delicious Italian classic which includes the addition of dried sour cherries. The slight tartness of the fruit argues nicely with the sweetness of the sugar and almond while their chewiness similarly contrasts with the softness of the amaretto mix. I think many of the recipes for this available online are derived from that found in Ottolenghi’s  first cookery book (simply called The Cookbook) and that made me very happy for very occasionally the daughters treat me to lunch at his Islington eaterie, which is extraordinarily good.

Ottolenghi’s recipe calls for lemon zest but finding myself in the vicarage kitchen on a wet Saturday evening, 3 miles from the nearest shop with no lemon, I turned to chopped mixed peel. Different but still delicious


180 g ground almonds

120 g golden caster sugar

1 teasp chopped mixed peel

60 g dried sour cherries

2 egg whites from large eggs

1 teasp of warmed honey

icing sugar to dust the amaretti both before and after cooking 

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C/ 150 degrees C for a fan oven/325 degrees F/gas mark 3

Line 2 baking trays with baking parchment.

Put the ground almonds, caster sugar and chopped mixed peel in a bowl and mix together. Add the sour cherries. (You could chop these. I left them whole.)

In another bowl whisk up the egg whites and the honey until soft peaks form. Now fold this mixture into the dry ingredients in the other bowl until a paste forms. Gather this into a ball.

Pinch off walnut sized pieces of the paste, roll them into sausages and drop them in a bowl of sifted icing sugar. Put them on a baking sheet, flattening them slightly and pinching the top into a ridge.

Bake for 12-15 minutes, turning the trays around half way through to cook evenly.

Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. While still hot, sift a little more icing sugar over them.

Makes about 24 amaretti. 


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  1. Anna
    Posted February 20, 2014 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    These were absolutely delicious! very good with tea but I suspect even better with coffee.

    • Mary Addison
      Posted February 20, 2014 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Anna. They are indeed v. good with coffee.

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