Apulian Christmas cuisine boasts a number of tasty recipes ranging from savory to sweet, bringing to the table and to festively decorated homes all the flavor of traditions.
Among traditional Apulian desserts, an honorable mention goes to cartellate, also called carteddàte in the Bari dialect.
Cartellate al vincotto are crumbly and crispy sweets.
They are distinguished by the presence of bubbles on the surface due to the frying of the pastry, which is accompanied during cooking by white wine.
Although cartellate are commonly referred to as typical Apulian sweets, it is not uncommon to eat similar ones in Basilicata (called “crispedde”) and Calabria (known as “crispelle”) .
The preparation of cartellate with vincotto takes place especially at Christmas: linked to the Christian tradition, these sweets with a typical halo shape would represent not only the sheets of the Baby Jesus, that is, the swaddling clothes with which he was wrapped in the cradle, but also the crown of thorns that encircled his head for the crucifixion.
- 4 Cups All Purpose Flour
- 2/5 Cups White Wine
- 8 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/2 Cup Fig Vincotto (Vincotto di Fichi)
- Salt to taste
- Icing Sugar to taste
- To start, get a work surface and mix the flour with oil, a pinch of salt and white wine.
- Mix everything well until the dough is smooth, firm and elastic.
- Let it rest for about 30 minutes. It is preferable to cover the mixture with a cloth in order to allow it to rise at a stable temperature.
- After the 30 minutes you can resume working the risen dough, roll it out until it is very thin (so that the cartellate will be light) and cut out strips about 20 inches long and 1-2 inches wide with a notched wheel.
- Pinch the strips and form rosettes: start at the end and roll the strips on themselves, pinching the edges to make them fit better.
- Once you have your preferred shape, let rest and dry overnight.
- The next morning prepare a large, tall pan with plenty of boiling oil (about 300 F) and dip the cartellate for 1-2 minutes until they start to turn golden brown.
- Drain and absorb excess oil on sheets of kitchen paper and let cool in the open air for 10-20 minutes.
- Heat the grape vincotto in a pan to make it less thick and dip the cartellate, necessarily well coated and soaked in the mixture.
- Your dish is now ready to be enjoyed!
- In case you don’t like grape vincotto you can replace it with fig vincotto, honey or powdered sugar.