1 Kg of sweet peeled almonds, 1 kg of powdered sugar, 2 vanillin sachets, bitter almond extract, cinnamon extract, powdered starch and food colouring.
It’s a typical Sicilian sweet, first made in Palermo in the XII century and eaten above all on All Souls’ day.
The legend narrates that close to the pope’s visit to the convent of “Saint Mary of the Admiral”, the nuns substituted the real fruits with a mixture of almonds and sugar that recreated the shape of the fruit. This tradition has been passed down and today in Sicily on the 2nd of November children receive baskets full of “frutta martorana”, chocolates, candies and other typical biscuits or “Pupo di zuccaro” (sugar dolls).
The preparation is very complex. First you need to chop the almonds finely in a food processor. Pour in a pan 2 dl of water in which you let the sugar melt over a low flame, stirring continuously. When the sugar is completely melted, add the almond powder, 2 vanillin sachets, 6 drops of bitter almond extract and 6 drops of cinnamon extract. Stir continuously with a wooden spoon until it becomes compact and separates from the casserole. Pour mixture on a flat marble surface, let it cool off a bit and start kneading it with your hands until it becomes homogeneous. Divide the mixture into 4 parts and allow to rest for 24hrs. The following day knead once again until it is very smooth and malleable. Now with the help of special moulds, sold in typical or ceramic shops, sprinkled with powdered starch you’ll obtain the desired shapes. Take the mixture out of the mould carefully and let it rest for 2-3 days. After dilute the food colouring with a little water and paint the fruit shape. Allow to rest another day and then they will be ready to be eaten.