Almond and pine nut biscotti
I don’t often make pudding or dessert. I am much more likely to buy a piece of cheese, a big bunch of grapes , a bar of dark chocolate (at present this) and make a batch of these crisp, double baked, almond and pine nut biscotti to be dipped or dunked in an espresso or even better in a glass of the Tuscan dessert wine Vin Santo.
We always make sure to save a few for the next day. They are very good for breakfast dipped in milky coffee and maybe even better, at about 11 o clock with an injection of espresso.
I love the wave of aniseed the fennel seeds lend to these biscotti, but I know it’s a quite particular flavour that can provoke strong opinions and reactions. If you are not a fan, leave the fennel seeds out.
Almond and pinenut biscotti (cantucci)
Adapted from Rowley Leigh’s recipe in No place like home
makes about 25 biscotti
- 250g plain flour
- 2 large eggs beaten
- 250g caster sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 100g blanched almonds chopped very coarsely
- 75g Italian pine nuts
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds (optional)
- 1 teaspoon of grated lemon zest
Preheat the oven to 200°/400f
Sift the flour into a large bowl and add the rest of the ingredients except the eggs. Mix well.
Add the beaten eggs and using your hands bring all the ingredients together into a ball of firm dough making sure the nuts are well-distributed. Cut the ball in half.
Shape both halves into a roll of dough about 4cm in diameter and place them both on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper.
Bake the rolls for 15 minutes by which time the dough will have spread and is still soft in the middle.
Take the biscuits out of the oven and lower the oven to 170°/330F
Let the rolls cool a little and then carefully lift/slide them onto a cutting board and with a sharp serrated knife cut them – on a slight diagonal if necessary – into roughly 8cm long 8mm wide slices.
Put the slices back, lined up like soldiers on the baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and put them back in the oven for 15 minutes. Turn them over and cook for a further 15 minutes. The biscuits will be dry, firm and crisp.
Cool the biscuits on a wire rack and then store them in an airtight tin.