Undoubtedly, confectionery is a hallmark of the Canary Islands and its variety leaves no one indifferent. There are many island desserts such as Príncipe Alberto, huevos moles, mousse de gofio (gofio mousse) .... Unique recipes based on local ingredients full of tradition and culture. Accompanying a visit to the islands with a Canarian sweet is, clearly, a must and, therefore, in this article we will talk about a classic of the islands: the Canarian almendrados.
Almonds, eggs and sugar. Three ingredients that when combined are capable of making any sweet tooth fall in love. These typical sweets are prepared in Canary Island artisan bakeries with excellent local almonds and sugar. The quality of these autochthonous products gives this well-known dessert a unique character.
Canarian confectionery, a tradition
Pastries are one of the islanders' weaknesses. In the Canary Islands there is no meal without dessert and it is always preferred to be something sweet. In the Canary Islands there is a long tradition of making desserts, although the limitations come from the products available. This last condition was counteracted with imagination.
Traditionally, the Canarian archipelago has been the recipient of many external influences and this explains the variety of Canarian confectionery, as well as the variety of other dishes in the island's recipe book.
The Canary Islanders have a special predisposition for sweetness, which could be related to the economic reality of a time when the main source of income came from the cultivation of sugar cane. It can also be related to the cultivation of other types of vegetables, such as fruit trees, which are very abundant both on the peaks of the islands and in the midlands.
Nowadays, in the most rural areas you can still taste authentic Canarian desserts, which have been passed down from generation to generation and whose ingredients, totally natural, make the product an exception in the confectionery market.
Almonds, an essential ingredient
The ingredients used in Canarian pastries are very varied; in the case of Canarian almendrados, almonds are the main ingredient, but millet is also used to a great extent , either whole or ground, as well as honey and fruits. There is no Canarian meal without a good dessert based on gofio, honey or bananas, accompanied either by a good liqueur or local rum.
It should be noted that confectionery, like the rest of Canarian gastronomy, is not a closed field. Each person, either through his family or simply by his own initiative, can use different ingredients and modify the presentation and the final result. This is why the Canarian recipe book is considered a living tradition.
How to prepare canary almendrados
Half a kilo of peeled and boiled almonds, six egg whites, one kilo of sugar, a little water, grated lemon zest.
First, beat the egg whites until stiff. Next, the cooked almonds are chopped or cut into strips and half of the egg whites are added. Then gradually add the sugar and the lemon zest, stirring everything well until the ingredients are completely integrated.
Once the mixture is ready, add the rest of the beaten egg whites. With the resulting dough, form round discs not too big and, flattening them a little and uniformly with the bottom of a moistened spoon, place them on baking paper and take them to medium temperature until they are golden and cooked. And that's it! You can now enjoy the best almendrados canarios at home.
If you are interested in Canarian recipes and learn how to prepare many more delicious dishes like this dessert, here is a link to the gastronomy section of Marca Canaria.