Homemade marzipan is a far cry from the artificial-tasting almond essence flavour that most of us grew up with.
- 100 g (⅔ cup) blanched whole almonds
- 1 egg white
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- 4 cooking apples (such as Golden Delicious or Granny Smith)
- 55 g (⅓ cup) sultanas
- 1 tbsp currants
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 2 tbsp bush honey (I like prickly box honey)
- 20 g unsalted butter
- cider cream and honeycomb, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
In a food processor, finely blend almonds. Add egg white and pulse, adding the sugar and ¼ teaspoon of salt as you go, until mixture forms a paste. Don’t worry if it becomes a bit hard to mix, you can do the last bit by hand. This makes a sticky marzipan – for a drier one, add another 25 g or so almonds.
Preheat oven to 180ºC. Core the apples, using a corer if you have one or a small knife from both ends if you don’t. You’ll wish you had a corer by the end, I reckon. To stop skin from blowing apart, use a small sharp knife to score it a few times from top to bottom.
Mix the sultanas with the currants and lemon zest. Pack 3 teaspoons of marzipan into the centre of each of the apples, then top with sultana mixture, then the remaining marzipan so it is slightly bulging out the top.
Drizzle the honey over the top and crown the stuffings with a knob of butter. Put 125 ml water into the base of a baking dish, add the apples and bake for about 30 minutes or until soft right the way through, adding more water if necessary. The time can vary depending on what variety of apple you are using, how fresh they are and what the real temperature of your oven is.
Serve warm with cider cream and honeycomb.