Persian Marzipan Mulberry
Tut! What a fun word. In any language. Let’s say it again twice: tut tut! In Farsi, tut refers to the sweet, juicy and very popular fruit of the mulberry tree. Sun-dried Mulberries are also popular and available year round as a delicious snack that goes just marvelously with hot tea, and makes a terrific trail mix.
Since leaving Iran, I have not had a single mulberry, but when we lived there, I used to climb up the trees in my family’s fruit garden in the summer and gobble up as many mulberries as I could.
If you’ve never seen mulberries, here’s a pretty photo of it (picture courtesy of Emily Ho of Sustainable Foodworks.) Aren’t mulberries beautiful?
Tut also refers to a marvelous Persian marzipan confection that is made to resemble the delicious mulberry fruit. It uses dreamy ingredients like rosewater and cardamom and requires no baking: just some prep work and then some zen hands-on assemblage. Because it is sweet, pretty and dainty, tut is among the sweets typically offered at weddings, and it is also made for the Persian New Year. In fact, the pictures you see here are from the batch that Maman and I made this past Norouz.
(I won’t forget that batch. We didn’t have blanched almonds so per this handy dandy guide I blanched and peeled and roasted our almonds. The process was …. well, to paraphrase David Foster Wallace (RIP), it was a fun thing that I hope I’ll never have to do again. Admittedly though, the sweet smell of roasted almonds was delightful. )
Quick and simple recipe is a click away below – as always. And this time, we even have a video! Woot! Tut!
- 2 cups ground almonds
- 1 cup powdered sugar or confectioners sugar
- 1/3 cup granulated white sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 3 tablespoons rosewater (maybe just a smidgen more, depending)
- slivered unsalted pistachios (approximately 1/3 cup)
- Combine ground almonds, confectioners sugar (make sure not to use granulated sugar by mistake) and cardamom in a big bowl. Use a fork to stir and very evenly mix the dry ingredients. Gradually blend in the rosewater – 1/2 teaspoon at a time. Stir with the fork. Then, work and knead the paste with your hands. Do so for at least a minute or two. The paste should at this point be an even, malleable, non sticky texture. (If it feels crumbly and breaks off in your hands, add just a smidgen more rosewater. But no more than 1/2 a tablespoon.) Set aside.
- Take a small amount of paste (approximately 1/2 teaspoon) and roll between your hands to form a hazelnut-sized ball. Press down and cajole the the paste into the shape of a mulberry.
- Place granulated sugar in a bowl. Roll each mulberry-shaped paste in the granulated sugar until all sides are lightly covered with sugar. Insert sliver of pistachio as a stem. Repeat process until you run out of paste. (We’ve uploaded a how-to video for you here which should shed some light on the matter.)
The downside of toot is that it if not stored properly, it dries out rather quickly. The upside is that since they are highly addictive and delectable you won’t really have to deal with the trouble of having any left to store. But let’s say you live in a household with highly disciplined people and you have a bunch left, then what you do is that you store the lot in an airtight container either in the fridge or in a cool dry space. Don’t leave them out hanging al fresco, is what we’re trying to say here.
Make it, and enjoy it, and noosh ‘eh jaan!