Christmas time is not so far away now! Ever wondered how to feed an army? Well, apparently this is how the Moors did it; with the use of energy rich almonds and honey in a form convenient to transport, allowing an instant on-the-move vitality snack and leading to the origin of the Jijona Turrón. Just the thing for constant stamina over the Christmas festivities! Since its invention over 500 years ago, in the small town of Jijona, about 30 miles from Alicante, there are now hundreds of varieties and the majority of the economy of the town is focused on the production of turrón. Rules strictly control whether a turrón may be labelled with “Suprema” or “Extra.” The best quality is “Suprema” and to wear that label, the soft turrón must contain at least 60% almonds and the hard, 64% almonds. After that, there is “Extra,” “Estándar” (standard) and “Popular”. As Christmas schedules are tight, out of the many variations, Turrón blando is a classic and one of the simplest. Bear in mind that almonds and the honey are the main part of the recipe. So, the better the quality of these ingredients, the better the results.
You will need…
- 250 grams of ground almonds
- 40 grams of whole almonds toasted
- Powdered cinnamon
- 100 grams of sugar
- 200 grams of honey (artisanal honey will produce better results)
- 1 egg white
- Lemon zest
First prepare your turrón tin. If you don’t have anything suitable… use a milk brick, cut in half. Line the inside with parchment / baking paper. You will need the other half of the milk pack to weigh down the turrón while it cools in the fridge over night
If you don’t have ground almonds… you must toast the raw almonds first. Allow them to cool and then ground in a food processor.
In a heavy-based pan, heat the honey and sugar on a medium heat. Stir with a wooden spoon until the ingredients have formed into a thick and smooth cream. Remove from the heat.
Whip the egg white so that it stands up in peaks.
Beat the egg white into the mix. There will be lumps at first but stir until they have disappeared. The mix will gradually turn to a lighter colour. This will take about 10 minutes.
Stir the lemon and the cinnamon into the mix. Add the ground and whole almonds.
Pour the mix into your prepared tin or milk box covered with the parchment (baking paper).
Using another container or other half of the milk box, press down well using a weight and leave in the fridge to cool for at least 6 hours or preferably overnight.
When your turrón is ready, turn it out on to a dish and that aroma of almonds will fill your house and prepare for the sensation of fresh homemade turrón that will melt in your mouth and leave you ready to face the exertions of the Christmas Holidays.
Have a great one!