Marzipan

Adapated from Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking by Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook

Makes 24-30 pieces.

According to Solomonov and Cook, most almond-flavored confections feature "the assertive flavor of bitter almond extract," but this simple recipe for marzipan "showcases the clean, subtle flavor of raw almonds." I couldn't agree more. Terrific marzipan was surprisingly easy to make, and a lot of fun. If it was good to eat immediately, but even better the next day, when the texture had smoothed out and the flavor deepened.

1 1/2 cups blanched raw almonds

1 1/2 cups confectioner's (powdered) sugar

6 tablespoons light corn syrup

1/2 teaspoon orange blossom water

Pinch of salt

25-30 toasted pistachios for garnish

1. Pulse the almonds in a food processor until they form a fine meal but before they become pasty. Add the confectioner's sugar, corn syrup, orange blossom water and salt, and continue to pulse until the mixture is sandy and holds together when you pinch it between your fingers, about 2 minutes.

2. Shape the mixture into 1-inch balls or cubes and press a pistachio into each piece. Marzipan will keep, well wrapped, in the refrigerator for several months.