This is my local take on Maraschino cherries, but instead of Maraschino liqueur I used our local sweet wine, Passito di Pantelleria. Originally maraschino cherries were made from marasca cherries (originated in Croatia) which were then preserved in Italy’s maraschino liqueurs. Since I am not using Maraschino liqueur, rather Passito di Pantelleria such as Sangue d’oro and the local cherries “Amarena”. The cherries need to sit in the jar for about two weeks to really soak in the spices before serving. Eat the cherries as a dessert with or without vanilla ice cream, place them on top of a cupcakes or as a garnish to a whiskey sour.
Chin chin!Passito spiced summer cherries Ingredients
1 Cup (2.4 dl) sugar
1/2 Cup (1.2 dl) water
3 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 Cinnamon stick
1 Star Anise
A pinch of grated nutmeg
1 Vanilla bean cut and seeds scraped
2 LB (900 grams) sweet stoned cherries (use your local variety)
1 Cup ( 2.4 dl) of Passito di Pantelleria
Wash and remove all the cherry’s stones.
In a saucepan, combine all ingredients excluding the cherries and the Passito allowing them to come to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the cherries and simmer for 8-10minutes. Remove from heat, add the Passito and let cool.
Transfer the cherries and liquid into clean jars and cover tightly and refrigerate for two weeks.
Almond Bar’s Whiskey Sour Ingredients
1 part Bourbon whiskey
2 part simple syrup, recipe for simple sirup here
1 part lemon juice
1 Passito spiced cherry
Mix all the ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake and serve with a cherry on the top. If it’s a hot summer day serve with some extra ice.
This last days has been really hot and what’s better for a dry mouth than a lemonade this hot afternoons in the garden. I usually make a lemonade concentrate and if there are leftover I pour it in a bottle and save it in the fridge. When serving I couldn’t resist decorating the lemonade with some mallow flowers. If you have extra time on your hand you could also freeze eatable flower in the ice cubes to give it a summery and colorful look.
The recipe will make around 6 cups (14 dl) of lemonade concentrate
2 cups (4.8 dl) caster sugar
2 cup (4.8 dl )water
12-14 lemons or enough lemons for 3 cups ( 7.4 dl) of fresh lemon juice
To serve : Still mineral or soda water and ice
Start by making a simple syrup.
Warm sugar and water in a small saucepan on the stove, stir until the sugar has dissolved and incorporated into the water, set a side.
Squeeze the juice from the lemons, if you so desire you can strain the pulp from the juice or leave it in.
Combine the lemon juice and the simple syrup stirring to make sure they are full incorporated.
Fill a pitcher or glasses halfway with ice cubes and lemonade concentrate.
Add either sparkling or still mineral water to dilute.
This week we had days of stormy weather in Pantelleria, today it’s seems to have calm down and there is hope for a summer is coming. While we wait for the weather to get warmer my friends and I are going to sip on these Sunny Aperol this late afternoon in Almond Bar. Please join us in spirit if not in person!
4-6 ice cubes
2 ounce (6 cl) Aperol
2 ounce (6 cl) orange juice (freshly squeezed is prefered)
Garnish: 1 slice of orange and a mint twig
In a highball glass or similar add ice cubes, Aperol and orange juice, mix using a cocktail spoon
Fill up with Prosecco and garnish. Serve right away!
The almond tree that this blog is named after is now in full bloom. Almond trees belong to the plum family and the almond is the core of the almond fruit that is a stone fruit. It is not actually a nut. Here in Pantelleria the almond trees are now covered with white/pink flowers. Almonds are an important ingredient in the Pantescan cuisine. I love to use almonds both in cooking and baking and, of course, just eating them plain. When the bloom period is over the trees develop their foliage. After that the fruit is at first green (see picture below) and has a soft shell similar to the peach. This skin will dry over the summer and fall off when the stone fruit is ready. This is what looks like a nutshell. Inside you have the almond, which is the core. We harvested our almond trees in August, and we use them throughout the year. When the almonds are fresh they are juicy and not as sweet as the dry ones. In Sicily, almond milk is a popular drink and is often served at the bars together with small Sicilian assorted cookies.Almond milk
2.1/2 cups (6 dl) whole peeled almonds
18 cups (2.8 liter) room temperature bottled water, you will need to 6 cups (14 dl) per soaking (2 times) 6 cups for blending.
3 tablespoons honey
Optional grounded cinnamon or vanilla seeds to taste
Place almonds together in a large bowl that can accommodate both the almonds and the water so the almonds are covered by the water. Cover with plastic and allow them to soak 4 hours. Then change water and do the same procedure soaking for another 4 hours.
Drain and rinse almonds with fresh water using a colander.
Using a blender or food processor, mix the almonds with 6 cups bottled water, and add honey. Mix together using a blender or food processor (taste if you want it sweeter, add some more honey). Place the mixture back into the bowl and cover with plastic allowing it to rest for 2 hours. If you want, now is the time to add a little vanilla seeds or grounded cinnamon to taste.
Strain the almond milk through a cheesecloth or a strainer, serve well chilled.
Store the almond milk covered in the refrigerator. It has a possible shelf life 3-4 days when properly stored.