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To drupe, or not to drupe

Almonds. Now aren't they an interesting proposition!

They have health benefits (heart, weight and stomach can all be helped by the good old almond) that are not destroyed by cooking and are delicious with both savoury and sweet dishes, the almond is also one of the most popular 'nuts' for use as dairy alternatives. The fruit we call an 'almond' is actually called a drupe!

The almond tree, closely related to the apricot and peach, originated in Iran, and the neighbouring countries, but has been successfully grown on most continents. Interestingly, the almond nut, is not actually a true nut, but the seed held within the fruit of the almond tree.

It is husked by blanching, so the coarse brown skin is easily removed, leaving the white seed behind.

To celebrate this nut we have created Fig and Almond Tartlets! Deliciously light sweet shortcrust pastry holds an almond (ground and flaked) & egg filling, each one topped with a whole sliced fig. Can be served hot, or cold, with or without cream. Delicately delectable!

Oh, and it is a little know fact in the UK that the scent of the almond blossom is one of the headiest perfumes of a fruiting tree. If you ever have the chance to smell one, do. And now is the perfect time, with spring just springing and all!

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