Almond and Lemon Cantucci

A delicious Italian almond biscuit.

Almond and Lemon Cantucci

When we were in Siena, Italy, we saw these delicious-looking biscuits everywhere, but as they weren’t vegan we couldn’t try them. I vowed to create a vegan version when we got home, and here they are. Some people call these biscotti. This simply means biscuits in Italian and derives from the Latin word meaning ‘twice baked’. Cantucci is the more accurate term for these almond-flavoured slices from Tuscany, which are often served with, and dipped in, a glass of the local fortified wine, Vin Santo. Cantucci keep for several weeks in an airtight container, and make great Christmas presents.

Ingredients (makes 20–24)

  • 1 large apple, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup (160 g) white flour
  • 1 cup (140 g) wholemeal flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons light oil, e.g. sunflower
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2–3 drops almond extract
  • 3/4 cup (150 g) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 cup (140 g) almonds, raw, skins left on

Oven: 170°C/325°F/Gas 3

Grease and line a large baking tray.

Cook the apple with a little water until it softens, then mash to a puree. (If you don’t have time for this step, you can use bottled apple sauce.)

Sift the flours, baking powder and salt. Mix the oil, extracts and half a cup of the apple puree in a jug or small bowl. Add the liquid, sugar, lemon zest and whole almonds to the flour and mix to a soft dough. If too dry, sprinkle tablespoons of water one at a time until the dough comes together. Divide into two and roll into log shapes, about five cm (2") across and 2 cm (1") high.

Place on the baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and leave to cool for 5 minutes. Cut each log diagonally into slices about 2 cm (1") thick, using a sharp knife so you can cut easily through the whole almonds. Lay the slices on their sides and bake for 15 minutes, then turn the slices over and bake for a further 15 minutes until golden brown and quite firm. Cool on a wire rack.

Divine Vegan Desserts by Lisa Fabry
Published by Wakefield Press, RRP $24.95
Purchase Divine Vegan Desserts from Booktopia for $23.45 

Prices displayed are correct at time of publication. Prices are subject to change at short notice. In these circumstances, the price listed on the YOURLifeChoices website may not be correct. In the event that a price conflict between the YOURLifeChoices website and Booktopia website does occur, Booktopia website prices will override prices listed in the newsletter.

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    To make a comment, please register or login
    7th Jun 2013
    The latest news that Chinese hackers are hacking large corporations around the globe to get blueprints and information for business is outrageous. I recall not long ago an Australian in a trial that didn't allow the public to witness, was that he was charged with spying on Chinese company information and the Chinese government were very strict about this. I agree that we should have good relations with China. However, I think they need to be told in no uncertain terms that hacking into ASIO blueprint of the new building is not on and will not be tolerated. Indeed no hacking into any government or company files.
    8th Jun 2013
    You seem to be on the wrong topic page nightie?

    In relation to your comment though, it has not been proved, at all, that it was China that hacked ASIO.

    Don't you think that ASIO should have their sites hack proof?

    I daresay that they probably are and that the claim about China is a firfy.... you must remember that ASIO's budget has just been cut and as they are a power unto themselves, they may just be trying to push the government into more funding and in the very least, to embarrass them. China was a good choice because they are a non-aggressive nation but non-western which makes them a good choice.

    As I get older I get more cynical and the story about the hacking of the blueprint, just doesn't have the ring of truth in it.

    8th Jun 2013
    Thank you for the recipe, I love biscotti and have printed it out. Not really a kitchen person but will give it a go.
    10th Jun 2013
    With the Cantucci biscuits. don't sift the Wholemeal flour as the bran in the flour will be left behind in the sieve, just a thought

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