Pastitsia is a very quick and easy to make a treat, absolutely delicious and just perfect with coffee! They are slightly crunchy outside, soft inside and chewy. Due to very short cooking time and simplicity of ingredients, it is also one of those amazing rescue remedies for situations like “Oh! I forgot to tell you that Littles will drop in for coffee in half an hour” 🙂
In Greece, ground blanched almonds are used as the base material in a great variety of desserts, usually called Amygdalota. Many of them are uncooked. Some are covered in powdered sugar and slightly baked to make a layer of crust on the outside. And there are seemingly endless variations of them. Pastitsia is a baked version of Amygdalota.
Traditional recipe obviously started with blanching the almonds and crushing them – manually, of course! But we are very lucky nowadays – can just buy a ready-made almond meal. There are several options in the supermarkets. We tried Fresh Life, Macro, Pams and SunValley. Macro Almonds Meal is the best for these cookies because it gives the best flavour. We tried to add almond essence to the mixture with other almond meals – it didn’t really help. You will still get tasty cookies but not THAT tasty.
It is very important not to overheat the mixture. If you have an induction hob, you can heat it straight in a pan on low heat. With gas or electric hob it’s better to set the mixture over gently simmering water. It’s best to use a thermometer and heat to 43℃, but if you don’t have it you can roughly measure the temperature with your finger – it should feel a little bit warmer. And you will also see the sugar dissolved.
The fresher, the better but in an airtight container they can be kept for a week – if you have a strong will and don’t finish them immediately 🙂
- 120 g almond meal
- 230 g sugar
- 100 g egg whites approx. 3 egg whites
- 30 g all purpose flour
Preheat the oven to 190 C.
Mix almond meal with sugar. And egg whites and mix everything together. You don't need a mixer or a whisk for that - a spoon is enough.
Heat the mixture on a minimal heat to 43℃.
Remove from heat.
Add the flour to the mixture.
Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Place dollops of the mixture - one tablespoon per cookie - leaving some space between them as they will become approximately 50% bigger during baking. You can use a piping bag if you want them to be more esthetic.
Bake for 12-13 minutes until golden. Do not overbake. The cookies will still be soft when you get them out and will harden as they cool.