Frutta Martorana is a traditional Sicilian dessert made of modeled and colored almond paste. The recipe for these sweets dates back to the 12th century, and it was invented by the nuns of the Martorana Monastery in Palermo. According to the legend, nuns prepared these sweets to embellish the monastery for the Pope’s visit, as their garden was fruitless.
The traditional recipe uses honey instead of powdered sugar, but try our simplified version to make this dessert in the comfort of your own home!
A simple and fun Frutta Martorana recipe that turns homemade marzipan into colorful fruit shapes.
Combine almond flour and powdered sugar in a large mixing bowl.
Add in egg whites and almond extract. Mix for a minute with a wooden spoon.
Use your hands to make a homogeneous dense mass.
Use fruit-shaped molds to form the Frutta Martorana.
Let them dry on wax paper for 24 hours, so that they hold their shape when trying to paint them.
For the food coloring, mix 1 drop of vanilla extract and 1/2 cup of water into a clear cup so you can see the colors clearly. This will be the base for each color you would like to ‘paint’ with. Mix up each color you would like to use in different cups.
You can add stems to the fruit by using some cut from fake flowers, or you can also use clove stems as well.
You can replace pasteurized egg whites with ½ cup of water. If you intend to use water, you should combine powdered sugar and water in a small pan. Bring to a boil and remove from the heat. Stir in almond flour and mix well until you obtain a smooth and homogeneous dough.
It is better to add the egg whites gradually.
With this simple recipe, you can also prepare marzipan for cakes.