Spain is the second largest producer and exporter of almonds behind the United States. Almond growth is prevalent in Spain’s mediterranean regions such as Catalonia, the Balearic Islands, Andalusia, Valencia, Murcia, and Aragón.
Today, we are going to feature a mash up of tradition and modern influences of a really tasty snack called the Spanish Fig and Almond Ball. This is going to be a more time consuming snack to prepare, but completely worth it and it will last you a couple of months.
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 pound whole blanched almonds
Preheat oven to 300°.
Combine olive oil, paprika, salt, cumin, and almonds in a large bowl.
Spread evenly in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 300° for 35 minutes.
Cool to room temperature and set aside while you gather your ingredients to form the balls.
Ingredients for Balls
2 cups pack dried whole figs, hard stalk and centre of base removed
1/3 cup dried apricots, chopped into small pieces
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 tbsp brandy
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp cloves, ground
1/3 cup sesame seeds, toasted
Blend the almonds until finely chopped. Place in large bowl. Chop the figs, and blend to a smooth sticky paste. Place paste onto the almonds, and mix together with your hands incorporating the dried fruit, brandy, honey and cloves.
Put the sesame seeds onto a plate. Roll the balls in them until covered. Cover the tray loosely with a clean towel.
Leave the fig balls to dry for a week before packaging in a tupperware container.
Will keep in a cool place for 2 months.