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collection by ICAF Europe

Guirlache (the local turron speciality of Aragon)

This is a very old recipe, at least from Mediaeval times, that became modified with the introduction of sugar by Arab culture. It is now an essential item on the Christmas tables of Aragon.

equal quantities of peeled blanched almonds and sugar
olive oil.

First prepare a smooth cold surface of marble or stainless steel or such, and lightly spread a little olive oil over that surface to prevent any adhesion of the turron mixture. Similarly, also well smeared with oil, have ready a wooden spoon, a large spoon or spatula and a long knife.

Put the sugar in a pan over low heat, stirring it constantly with a wooden spoon (previously dipped in olive oil) until the sugar melts. Once it has acquired a lightly toasted colour, add the whole, peeled and blanched almonds and stir again well.

Then quickly spread the hot mixture on the cool, oiled, flat surface and bat it down with the oiled spoon or spatula until it is about 1 cm thick. Then, immediately pass an oiled knife rapidly between the now solidifying mixture and the surface to prevent any sticking. As soon as this is done, swiftly cut the guirlache into little bars of about 1 cm width x 10 cm length. When these bars are totally cold, wrap greaseproof paper around them for conservation.

Alternatives: One can add a few drops of lemon and/or some honey to the mixture.