Panellets and rosaries are two of the traditional specialities of the Tots Sants Festival on November 1-2 and they’ve already started appearing in pastry shop windows in Mallorca.
Panellets are highly popular in Catalonia, Aragon and in the Balearic Islands and according to ancient text, they were originally made from an Arabic recipe.
The dough is made with sugar, ground almonds and lemon zest and some people also add water or an egg yolk to make the mixture creamier.
Back in the 18th century, homemade panellets were always made for All Saint’s Day festival and some people even took them to church to be blessed.
Here in Palma, Mallorcan pastry chefs are determined to keep that tradition alive.
Neus Llull is a fourth generation pastry chef at Forn Fondo, and Toni Gelabert at Pastisseria Real also follows in the family tradition.
“We want to maintain the highest quality and that’s why we use Mallorcan almonds from Bonany, which is one of the basic ingredients and maybe that’s why the panellet is in such great demand,” they agreed.
“We make them from pine nuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds and pistachios, as well as mango, strawberry, lemon, etc,” says Neus Llull. “We have two artisan varieties of the rosaries; ‘patience’ based on biscuits for the little ones and then chocolate and candied fruit panellets for everyone else.
Mallorcan pastry chef Toni Gelabert used to make his confetti pinitos in Barcelona and now he is busy in his workshop here on the Island, making a variety of panellets with pine nuts, filleted almonds, coconut, yolk, strawberry and coffee.
If you fancy having a go at making panellets yourself, here's a simple recipe from Repostería Balear by Caty Juan de Corral.
1 kg of ground almonds
1 kg of sugar
1 egg yolk
Grated rind from 1 lemon
1/2 half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder
150 g of pine nuts
Olive oil for the baking sheet.
Mix together the almonds, sugar, egg yolk, lemon rind & cinnamon powder
Knead the dough and shape it into panellets
Put the pine nuts on top
Place on a baking sheet
Cook at a high temperature for 15 minutes