Pinhoada,torrão natal

Let the celebrations begin! Nothing says Christmas like the pop of a cork, fresh fruity flavours and a toast to great friends, and of course sweet treats for under the tree? Yes, please!
Pinhoada is a very common confection at this time of year in Portuguese fairs and markets, being made with pine nuts and honey. The name derives exactly from the fact that the pinhão is the core ingredient of a recipe that is so easy to make.
Although widely known across Portugal, this delicacy is typically Alentejan, being a typical creation of Alcácer do Sal, one of the regions of Portugal with the largest production of pinhões.Alcácer is known for the production of salt, pine nuts and rice but there are also interesting wines, artisanal honey, canned fish,other regional sweets, and much more.My favourite discovery however was "pinhoada,” this highly-addictive nougat made with local pine nuts and honey. There're many good reasons to visit the wonderful town of Alcacer do Sal,but the taste of the pinhoada is justification alone.The proliferation of pinhoada across the country may have been due to the fact that Alcácer do Sal is an important road junction in southern Portugal; the pinhoada thus became a popular sweet, sold to travellers passing through the area, and thence quickly became well-known and sought after throughout the entire country. 
200 ml of honey
200 g of pine nuts
Delicate oil for greasing

Lightly toast the pine nuts in the oven, spread them on a smooth surface and let cool.Put the honey in a pan and simmer for 2 minutes on a low heat.
Stir in the pine nuts and boil for another 2 minutes. 

Remove from the heat and, with a spoon, spread the mixture over a smooth surface,lined with a sheet of baking parchment  previously greased with a little delicate flavoured oil. 
Cover with a second sheet of baking parchment and with a rolling pin, roll across the top form a uniform layer. 
When the pinhoada is cold, cut it into pieces or break into shards with a heated knife. Place on paper or cellophane and wrap.


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