In the Veneto region, it is tradition when you serve a fregolotta to bring it whole to the table at the end of the meal and either the youngest or your guest of honor gets to break it. A handful of almonds is placed underneath and then they get to press down on the biscuit - and they get to pick the first piece.
This enormous almond biscuit is buttery, sweet, satisfying, crumbly and tender. It's so big you could share it with a whole table - or you could keep it all for yourself!
- ½ cup whole, blanched almonds, divided
- 1½ cups plain flour, plus more if needed
- 4½ tbsp (90 ml) sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 115 g (½ cup) cold butter, cut in squares
- 1 egg, whisked
- ½ tsp (2.5 ml) vanilla extract
- ½ tsp (2.5 ml) almond extract
- 1½ tbsp (30 ml) thick (heavy) cream, plus more if needed
- Icing sugar, for topping
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.
1. Preheat oven to 175°C (350°F). Line a 24 cm (10 inch) tart pan with baking (parchment) paper.
2. Toast almonds in a hot skillet until fragrant and golden. Pulse toasted almonds in a food processor until ground medium-fine. Add flour, sugar, and salt to food processor and stir to combine. Add butter to food processor and pulse briefly until mixture is grainy in texture.
3. In a separate bowl, add egg, vanilla extract, almond extract and cream and whisk to combine. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients in the food processor and pulse until pebbly and crumbly (add more flour or cream to adjust texture if required – you are looking for a texture similar to streusel).
4. Using your fingertips, drop fingerfuls of batter into the tart pan until entire bottom of the pan is covered. Press down gently all over batter. Bake for 20-25 minutes or golden brown.
5. Allow biscuit to cool before removing from tart pan and serving. Sprinkle with icing sugar. Buon appetito!