Recipe: 3 Ways with Almonds
SPICY CHILLI PASTA WITH ALMONDS AND CHICKPEAS
1 tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1½ L vegetable or chicken stock
½ tsp crushed red chilli flakes
Salt, to taste
500g thin whole wheat spaghetti
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
¼ cup roasted unsalted almonds, chopped
½ cup grated Parmesan
1 Heat the oil in a saucepan, set over a medium-high heat.
2 Stir in the garlic and sauté for one minute.
3 Add the stock, chilli flakes and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to the boil.
4 Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until the stock has almost been absorbed and the pasta is al dente, about 6 minutes.
5 Stir in the chickpeas, parsley and chopped almonds.
6 Garnish with a sprinkle of Parmesan.
CHERRY AND CARAMELISED ALMOND ICE CREAM
SERVES 4 TO 6
800g ripe cherries
170g caster sugar, plus 4 tbsp extra for the almonds
600ml whipping cream
½ tsp almond extract
2 tbsp icing sugar
1L vanilla custard, shop-bought or homemade and cooled
A drizzle of oil, for greasing
40g toasted flaked almonds
1 tbsp butter
1 Remove the stalks and stones from 600g of the cherries and then roughly chop.
2 Place them into a medium pan, add 170g caster sugar, and then cook very gently for 10 minutes until the sugar melts. Turn up the heat a little, then simmer for 15 minutes until the fruit has softened and the mixture becomes a chunky syrup. Allow to cool completely.
3 In a large bowl, combine the cream, icing sugar and almond extract. Whip the mixture until it just holds its shape. Fold in the cooled custard, then transfer the mixture to an ice cream machine and churn until you achieve a thick consistency.
4 For the caramelised almonds, line a baking sheet with parchment.
5 Place the almonds, unsalted butter and 4 tablespoons of sugar in a pan, swirling frequently, for about five minutes.
6 When the sugar starts to melt and the mixture turns into an amber caramel, stir and mix thoroughly until all the nuts are coated.
7 Transfer immediately onto a sheet of parchment paper. Allow to cool slightly before breaking into smaller pieces. Transfer the mixture to a Ziploc bag and crush with a rolling pin.
8 Place the ice cream into a suitable container for freezing, greased with a little oil. Add drizzles of the syrupy cherries and incorporate the caramelised almonds, rippling through the ice cream using a knife. Freeze for at least 6 hours, or for best results, overnight.
9 Serve with whole cherries, to garnish.
PUFF PASTRY TART WITH CHERRIES, MERINGUE AND NECTARINES
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, about 375g, defrosted
2 nectarines, sliced
A handful of cherries, stoned and chopped
100g crème fraîche
1 large egg, plus 2 egg whites
100g ground almonds
1 tsp vanilla extract
140g caster sugar
2 tbsp apricot jam
½ tsp almond extract (optional)
1 tsp cornflour
25g toasted flaked almonds
1 Heat the oven to 200C. Lay the pastry on a large baking sheet and score a 2cm border from the edge, using a sharp knife.
2 Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until the pastry has risen and the base is golden and crisp.
3 Combine the crème fraîche, whole egg, ground almonds, vanilla extract and 40g of the sugar together.
4 Spread the pastry with the almond and crème fraîche mixture, then top with the fruit.
5 Warm the jam in the microwave, then brush all over the fruit.
6 Bake the tart in the oven for 10 minutes.
7 Meanwhile, whisk the egg whites until stiff in a large mixing bowl. Add the remaining sugar, almond extract and cornflour, and whisk again to a thick, smooth glossy meringue.
8 After 10 minutes, remove the tart from the oven and turn the heat down to 160C. Dollop the meringue over the tart using a spoon, then scatter the almonds over.
9 Bake for another 10 to 12 minutes until the meringue feels crisp and is slightly golden.