Go into any bar in Siena and you will see ricciarelli neatly piled on plates, ready to buy individually. They are incredibly sweet, a creamy almond meringue dusted with icing sugar.
|½||a lemon, zested|
|2||large free-range organic egg whites|
|½ tsp||vanilla extract|
|½ tsp||almond extract|
|icing sugar, for dusting|
Preheat the oven to 160°C and roast the almonds for about 15 minutes, removing them from the oven just as they start turning brown. Leave the oven switched on and set the almonds aside to cool.
Blitz the roasted almonds, half the sugar and all the lemon zest in a food processor, until very fine. Whisk the egg whites until stiff, then beat in the remaining sugar and fold in the ground almond mixture along with the vanilla and almond extracts.
Dampen your hands, then take half a dessertspoon of mixture, roll it into a ball and flatten until about 2cm thick. Make about 20 of these, placing them on a baking tray lined with baking parchment and making sure there is at least 2.5cm space between the biscuits.
Bake in the oven for about 20–25 minutes, or until golden. Allow to cool on the tray, then remove and dust with icing sugar.