Art and tradition in the kitchen

Ingredients for about 24 fruits
500 almond flour
400 powdered sugar
60 g glucose
1 vial of almond aroma
1/2 vial of vanilla flavoring
1 pinch of cinnamon (optional)
50 ml water at room temperature – if needed add 5 ml
You will also need
Food colors yellow, green, red, brown, orange
starch to taste
1 solution of 95% food alcohol + water (50% alcohol and 50% water)
brightener (food paint)
leaves for decoration
royal icing to taste for the decoration
dark chocolate to taste for decoration
plaster moulds
brushes of various sizes
disposable gloves
plastic wrap


Put the almond flour and icing sugar in a bowl. Rub the two ingredients with your hands to mix them.
After a few minutes, add the glucose, vanilla flavoring, and almond flavoring.
Pour the water over the mixture a little at a time and knead for a few minutes, first with a spoon and then with your hands. It is important not to knead for a long time because it would result in an oily mixture that can no longer be used. You should obtain a soft, malleable and non-sticky dough.
Create a cylinder-shaped dough, wrap it in plastic wrap and let it rest for at least half an hour in the refrigerator.
Once the resting time has passed, begin to create the desired shapes: pass your hands in the cake starch and form, with the dough obtained, spheres of various sizes taking into account the type of mold you want to use. It is important, at this stage, to pass your hands through the starch several times to obtain very smooth and non-sticky spheres.
Brush the plaster from with starch (or coat the plaster form with plastic wrap), insert the sphere of almond paste into the mould until the empty space is filled, press well and close. The fruit will be similar to the original fruit. Then remove the shape, place it on a cotton cloth or baking paper and remove the traces of starch with a clean brush. Before proceeding with the coloring, the fruits shaped in this way must rest for a whole night, to dry and lose the “pongo” type consistency, and then be handled easily.

The next day
To color the almond paste, use food colors that must be dissolved in a solution of 50% water and food alcohol (or only alcohol). Add this solution a little at a time. We used a teaspoon.
The advice is always to dilute the powdered color well in the liquid just before decorating the fruits, carefully dissolving any lumps that could alter the final effect. You can mix the colors together to obtain an even more realistic effect.
First, give a very light yellow base on all shapes to even out the subsequent colors and give a particular brightness, which evokes the warm sun of Sicily.
As soon as the base has dried, proceed to insert the other colors. Each layer must dry perfectly before being painted. You will have to wait until the top or bottom has dried completely. Try to work with shades and gradations, lights and shadows. Use the brush not only with a spatula but also with rotating movements.
Afterwards, when the fruits are all ready, you will have to let them dry again for at least 1 day. Finally, they are polished with a food rinse aid to make them even more inviting and to make them storable for longer. You can use liquid shine using a dry brush, or spray shine.
Insert any decorations such as leaves or petioles and finish with the various details with royal icing and dark chocolate melted in the microwave. Help yourself with a wooden toothpick. Your sweets are ready to be enjoyed.

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