Originally "La Castanyada" was celebrated on November 1st, but more and more it is celebrated during the vigil of All Saints' Day. This celebration, to remember the dead, was instituted in the 7th century when Pope Boniface IV consecrated the Roman Pantheon to the Virgin and the martyrs of Christianity. Centuries later, the Church established the practice of remembering all the dead on the day after All Saints' Day.
The question is: why chestnuts? On this night in Catalonia, the church bell ringers did not stop ringing the bells to warn the neighbors of the arrival of the time to pray for their dead. In their few breaks they ate chestnuts and drank muscatel to warm up. Little by little, the people of the village joined them and it ended up being the tradition that it is today: big family meals eating chestnuts, panellets and monkeys. Although they have lost their funereal character, they still fulfill an important social function.
There are many types of panellets (lemon, chocolate, coconut, almond, caramelized apple), although the most typical are almond and pine nut panellets. Since this year the big meals have to be suppressed, we want to leave you here the recipe of the panellets, another great symbol of La Castanyada. We are sure you will have fun making them!
PINE NUT PANELLET RECIPE
250 grams of raw ground almond
250 grams of sugar
Grate of a lemon
125 grams of cooked potato
1. We cook the potato with its skin. Once cooked, we peel it and crush it with a fork.
2. Put the sugar and the ground almond in a big bowl and mix well.
3. Grate the lemon peel and pour it into a large bowl.
4. Crack the egg and separate the white. Beat the yolk a little and add it to the potato (but keep a little yolk in case the mixture is too dry). Mix and pour into the bowl.
5. When we have all the ingredients of the dough in the bowl, we have to mix well until we get a homogeneous dough. The most recommended is to knead it with your own hands
6. And the time comes to form the little balls, ideally they should be the size of a walnut and the simplest thing is to model them by hand.
7. Then we pass the balls through the egg whites, batter them with the pine nuts and place them on a baking tray lined with vegetable paper.
8. Once the oven is preheated, we put the tray with the little balls on it and we bake it at 160 degrees with the grill on for 10 to 15 minutes.