I had an extra jar (or two) of candied cherries sitting around. So, I stuffed them with pistachios, wrapped them in marzipan and dipped them in chocolate. These little sweethearts were then dubbed Spumoni Truffles, because they have all the goodness found in the classic ice cream with the tricolors of the Italian flag.
Luxurious little bites that transport you to the romantic rolling hills of the Tuscan countryside are a snap to make and, with the holidays looming, these Spumoni Truffles would make the most posh gift to any and every one on your list!
Spumoni brings different flavors of ice cream dotted with dried fruits and nuts together in a beautiful combination, the best of which mimics the colors of the Italian flag: Pistachio green, white rum and cherry red.
Sometimes chocolate stands in for the rum, but, no matter what the variation, this is the ultimate Italian treat.
Spumoni is plural for spumone which is derived from spuma meaning foam in Italian. Typically three flavors of ice cream are mixed with whipped cream, giving them a foamy texture. There are variations on flavors, but most often the layers reflect the green, white and red in the Italian flag. Pistachio is the green, rum or vanilla for the white and cherry for the red. Chocolate sometimes kicks vanilla out and strawberry stands in for the cherry in the American variation we all love since our childhood days known as Neapolitan. Now that you’re all schooled, let’s make some candy. I like to soak the cherries in rum overnight, but skip the booze if you think little hands may be reaching for them.
When I was little, I’d clickety-clack around in red wooden clogs. The noise was helpful, because silence meant I was up to no-good.
I’ve always loved the color red. So much, in fact, that Nina Mama would ask if I’m a Bolshevik. I’m drawn to the bright color of maraschino cherries which I used to make these delightful spumoni truffles.
American maraschino cherries look amazing, but fail in flavor compared to their amarena cousins from Modena in the north of Italy. These cherries have a distinct bittersweet flavor with a hint of almond. Luxardo, Fabbri and Toschi all preserve the cherries in a simple syrup with no artificial additives or preservatives. However, they can be difficult to find and quite spendy, at $16-25 a jar.
One day around Christmas, a routine trip to Trader Joe’s became a celebration when I discovered a jar of imported candied amarena cherries for $4 with stems intact, which meant they were perfect for dipping into chocolate! I filled my shopping cart with as many jars as I could carry.
Prep: 15 mins
Rum bath: 12 hrs+ (optional)
16 oz jar pitted candied cherries with stems (about 24)
5 oz spiced rum or amaretto (optional)
7 oz marzipan
5 oz chocolate
1/2 crushed raw pistachios
Remove cherries from syrup and soak in liqueur at least overnight, if using.
The longer they soak, the more boozy they’ll be.
Drain the cherries and pat dry with paper towels. Rest them onto a clean tea towel.
Stuff the hole where the seed used to be with crushed pistachios.
Roll teaspoons of marzipan into balls.
Flatten in the palm of your hand and pierce a hole in the center.
Thread the stem through the hole and gently wrap the marzipan around the cherry.
Repeat for each cherry.
Melt chocolate and dip each cherry halfway into the chocolate.
Dunk into a small bowl of crushed pistachios and set onto a parchment lined tray.
Chill until the chocolate has hardened.
Enjoy after a big pasta dinner.
Spumoni Truffles are a delight to enjoy. Take them to your next dinner party and you’re sure to get another invitation.