Chefs Carla and Christine Pallotta invoke their Italian roots with this recipe for fig and nut torrone. The traditional wintertime treat features toasted nuts and dried figs, suspended in a chewy, honey-touched nougat. Edible rice paper, also called wafer paper, is key to form the candy, which can be made a week ahead of time for tasty gifting.
- 1 cup pistachios, unsalted
- 1 cup pine nuts
- 2 2/3 cups sugar
- 1 cup honey
- 4 tablespoons water
- 2 large egg whites, room temperature
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups dried figs, chopped
- 2 - 8x11'' sheets of edible rice (or wafer) paper, trimmed to 8x8''
- Lightly spray " 8x8' sheet pan with non-stick vegetable oil spray and line with parchment paper.
- In a large frying pan spread out the pistachios and pine nuts and toast on medium heat, stirring to make sure they don’t burn, until slightly brown.
- In a small, deep, heavy-bottomed saucepan, mix together the sugar, honey and water. Stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Using a candy thermometer, boil the mix until it reaches 252°F, about 3 minutes. (Be careful that the sugar mixture doesn’t overflow. Lower the heat, or pull off heat, when necessary until the mixture drops down again.)
- Meanwhile, beat egg whites and salt with a hand mixer until soft peaks form.
- Slowly add the hot syrup into the egg whites, a little at a time. Beat until the meringue is thick and has tripled in volume, and cooled down slightly. With a wooden spoon, add the toasted nuts and the figs to the meringue. Mix together all ingredients until fully incorporated.
- Place one 8x8" sheet of rice paper in the parchment-lined pan. Spread the torrone mixture in the pan in an even layer. Top with a sheet of rice paper and spread evenly with your hand. Let stand at room temperature for 3 hours.
- Using the parchment paper, lift the torrone out of the pan to a cutting board. Trim any excess rice paper from the candy. Run a large sharp knife under hot tap water and wipe dry, then cut the torrone into 2-inch wide rectangles. Repeat, running the knife under hot water and drying, if necessary. Store the torrone pieces in an airtight container at room temperature.