Almond Burfi

Recipe courtesy Maya Kaimal, Curried Favors: Family Recipes from South India, Abbeville Press Publishers, 1996
Show: Sweet Dreams Episode: Indian Sweet Shop
TOTAL TIME: 1 hr 25 min
Prep: 10 min
Inactive Prep: 30 min
Cook: 45 min
YIELD: 8 to 12 servings
LEVEL: Intermediate

ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 pound almond paste, broken up to facilitate melting
  • Ghee, prepared from 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, recipe follows
  • 1/4 cup sliced or slivered almonds, chopped finer
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Directions

In a heavy 4 quart pot, combine the sugar and water and boil together until candy thermometer registers 225 degrees F and a small amount of the syrup forms a thin thread between the thumb and forefinger when carefully sampled from the stirrer.

Reduce heat to medium and stir in the almond paste with 1/4 cup ghee. Stir in the rest of the ghee in 1/4 cup increments until all of it has been absorbed. Keep stirring over medium to medium low heat; the mixture will become a single mass and will roll around in the pan. If the mixture begins to brown, lower the heat. Continue stirring until the mixture becomes porous and starts to appear drier – this can take up to 10 minutes.

Spread the mixture in an ungreased 9-inch square baking pan and press into 1/2 inch thickness. Immediately sprinkle with the almonds, gently pressing them into the surface. While still warm, cut into 36 squares or diamond shapes.

Serve at room temperature.
A wonderful candy-like sweet that tastes like marzipan with the added richness of ghee. It has a firm texture like fudge will keep for 2 to 3 days in an airtight container.
Ghee:
8 ounces (2 sticks) butter

In a heavy skillet, over medium to medium low heat, heat the butter until it is completely melted. Watch as the butter boils, first with large bubbles and white milk solids floating on the surface, then with only a fine white foam filling the entire surface. Stir occasionally.

Soon, small patches of golden brown will appear on the surface, and the overall color of the butter will change from yellow to golden. Push aside the foam periodically to check the color of the sediment. When the sediment turns light brown, remove from the heat. (see note)

Decant into a jar with a tight lid. Warm, if desired, for serving over rice.

Note: If you heat until the sediment turns dark brown, the ghee will lose it's flavor and taste like vegetable oil.

Yield: 1 cup

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