Chocolate eggs and colomba cakes are not the only sweets on Apulian tables on Easter lunch. Almond paste lamb is a traditional dessert born at least in the ‘800s.
Salento bakeries work very well with almond paste all year around, but during Easter time they create true edible works of art. And some try to make this dessert at home.
Let’s see how to make it.
For the lamb
800 g (1.80 lbs) peeled almonds
800 g (1.80 lbs) sugar
1 citrus jam jar (or pear or apricoat jam)
dark chocolate in pieces
faldacchiera (Apulian zabaione-style cream)
coloured edible sprinkles and cocoa powder to taste
For the faldacchiera
liqueur syrup for cakes
Let’s start with making the faldacchiera. Use one sugar spoon for every egg yolk. Pour the egg yolks and sugar mix in a bowl. Knead with a whisk until you get a thick paste. Let it heat in a double boiler and stir until it becomes creamy. Once it gets cool, you can flavour the faldacchiera with the liqueur syrup for cakes.
Now, focus on the almond paste lamb preparation. First of all, let’s say that you will need a lamb-shaped cake mould. You should be able to find it in kitchen or cake design stores. Unless you are an artist and want to try it by yourself.
Grind the almonds with the sugar. Pour it into a pan, add a bit of warm water (half a cup should be fine) and cook over very low heat, stirring constantly. The almond paste will be ready when it comes up from the bottom.
Let it cool and then roll it out on a flat surface.
Cover the mould with plastic wrap and begin to fill it with half of the almond paste.
Stuff the half lamb with jam, faldacchiera and dark chocolate pieces. You can also add pieces of sponge cake soaked in liquor.
At this point, cover with the rest of the almond paste and with another layer of plastic wrap. Let it cool for an hour.
When the almond paste will be solidified, pull the lamb out of the mould, place it on a plate or a tray, carefully pull off the plastic wrap and decorate with cocoa powder and sprinkles. For example, you can use a piece of chocolate or a coffee bean to make the lamb eyes.