The Ricciarelli of Siena, whose history is full of charm on the edge of legend, are typical Tuscan sweets prepared in Siena and in the surrounding area. We suppose that their origin is closely relate to marzipan and the Orient from which it arrived in the courts of Europe starting from the XXV century. However, how did the marzipan set in the city of the Palio?
According to the most accredited historical sources, marzipan was brought to Siena as throughout Europe by the Burmese city of Martapan and hence the origin of the name; according to others, the name of this biscuit derives from the typical containers in which it was kept in Arabic called "mauthban". Whatever the origin of the marzipan name, you may be wondering what all this has to do with the Ricciarelli.
In our story, the figure of Ricciardetto Della Gherardesca enters the scene who, according to legend, brought these sweets, "curled" in shape like the shoes of a sultan, to Siena returning from the Crusades. The recipe of these sweets, or someone call them biscuits, was handed down over the years, indeed over the centuries, enriched according to the "new" and winning Sienese version with the covering of sugar like Panforte.
300 gr of almonds
200 grams of sugar
50 grams of icing sugar
40 grams of flour
15 grams of candied orange peel
1 egg white
A pinch of salt
Peel the almonds, boiling first in water for a few minutes. Blend or finely chop them together with the candied orange peel. Add 150 grams of sugar.
In a pan, simmer 50 grams of remaining sugar with a couple of tablespoons of water for a few minutes over low heat . When the syrup becomes amber and thickens, remove from heat.
Take the mixture of almonds and sugar and add the syrup. Add about 10 grams of icing sugar (about a tablespoon) and 20 grams (always a heaping tablespoon) of flour. Mix well. Let it rest covered with a cloth for at least 8 hours.
Whip the egg white until stiff with a pinch of salt. Add 10 grams of flour and 20 grams of icing sugar to the whipped egg white. Work well until the mixture is homogeneous and fluffy.
Add the almond mixture and mix well.
On a work surface dusted with the remaining flour and icing sugar, form your Ricciarelli into their tapered shape with your hands, using the flour mixed with the icing sugar.
Place the freshly formed Ricciarelli on a plate covered with baking paper.
Cook the Ricciarelli in a preheated oven at 180° for about 15-20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let them cool, then sprinkle them with other icing sugar.
Store in a glass, plastic or tin container at room temperature.