Maltese Cherry Pastini … a special treat for a local feast ! [gluten free, lactose free]

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Another beautiful bright day, a public holiday with church bells ringing and an air of celebration on the island !

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I spent a good part of the day in the Three Cities where the feast of the Immaculate Conception is celebrated in Bormla. I love this part of the island where my father was from, the history, the architecture, access to the sea is mesmerizing.

I use Renato’s 6-ingredient/5-minute recipe for Cherry Pastini, soft and moist  with a slightly crispy crust.   If you are not able to eat wheat, these are perfect gluten free cookies.  I like to pipe them or you can also simply roll them in some ground almonds and then slightly press them at the top before adding the glace cherry.

If you wish to reduce the sugar content of these pastini, the best option is Half Spoon because the sweeteners have been incorporated to form part of the sugar crystals and there is  no compromise on taste or texture.

Food brings people together and cherry pastini always disappear very quickly during any celebration.

cherry pastini

This recipe yields 35 to 40 Pastini.
Preheat oven to 160 C

You will need:

250g ground almonds
250g caster sugar [if you are using Half Spoon , use half the amount = 125g]
Grated zest of 1/2 lemon
3 drops good vanilla extract
2 egg whites
40 g glacé cherries

I have also added the grated zest of half an orange in mine as I love the flavor of local oranges.
You will also need a piping bag with a star nozzle but this is optional.

In a large bowl mix the ground almonds, sugar, citrus zest and vanilla. Gradually add the egg whites one by one until you achieve a dropping consistency. If the mixture is too dry, it is necessary to add another egg white.

If you are using a piping bag, prepare it with a star nozzle. Line a baking tray with baking paper and pipe the Pastini onto the baking sheet.

If you are not using a piping bag, dust your hands with ground almonds and using a small cookie scoop roll into balls and place onto the baking sheet.

Cut the cherries into quarters and decorate each Pastina with a cherry.

Bake for 15 minutes.

Leave to cool on baking tray.

These Pastini will last for up to a month in an air tight container.

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Trade Enquiries:
Half Spoon Sugar [with half the calories] by Silver Spoon from  Borg & Aquilina
Ground Almonds, vanilla, glace cherries by Good Earth Distributors Ltd
Kitchenware, baking tins by Pedrini and Bialetti Telephone: 79415384