I seem to have been surrounded by rosemary and rosemary recipes over the last few days. First, I read a piece on rosemary infused olive oil, then on rosemary sugar syrup – that can be added to the very festive gin fizz, and then I came across this delectable rosemary and pine nut brittle on Food52 (which recently featured this blog, in their "Best of the Blogs" section).
Perhaps it’s the time of year. The fragrance of rosemary certainly evokes in me Christmassy associations, and the herb is said to symbolise friendship and remembrance. A great friend of ours actually visited yesterday, delivering handfuls of fresh rosemary, cut that morning from her plant.
But I digress, back to the Rosemary and Pine Nut Brittle. Submitted by Ms T, who writes the Still Simmering blog, this recipe was voted best holiday recipe on Food52. There’s no doubt it’s well-deserved. As I read the recipe, and looked at the pictures, my mouth was quite literally watering. And, as it’s got less than five ingredients, all of which happened to already be in my store cupboard, I jumped off my seat and immediately made it.
2 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups pine nuts
8 tablespoons (one stick) unsalted butter
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon finely ground sea salt (I used Maldon sea salt)
Step 1: Place the sugar in a large, heavy saucepan over high heat and stir with a wooden spoon until sugar begins to melt. Lower the heat to medium, and stir until the sugar is melted. Stop stirring and watch for it to turn a medium caramel colour, this takes a few minutes.
Step 2: Stir in pine nuts and the butter. Allow pine nuts to cook for about two minutes – keep stirring. Stir in half of the rosemary and half of the sea salt.
Step 3: Pour the mixture out onto a sheet pan lined with baking paper. Spread it evenly to the desired thickness with a wooden spoon or stiff rubber spatula – Mine was around 4mm thick. Sprinkle remaining rosemary and salt on top, while the brittle is warm.
Step 4: Allow to cool completely. I’m impatient, so I cooled it in the fridge. After an hour or so it should snap easily.
Warning: this brittle is addictive! Both a positive and negative trait. It’s impossible to stop with just one piece. To avoid too much over indulgence, I put in jars, and made it into Christmas gifts immediately. I have to confess, I then opened one and started nibbling... but at least I tried.