In Palermo it is not Christmas without the Buccellato. While the PANETTONE He is the king of the Christmas table throughout Italy, in Sicily and in particular the buccellato or cucciddatu is the christmas dessert of the island par excellence. Like most of the Sicilian sweets, the Buccellato Palermo it's a baroque and elegant dessert, decorated with candied fruit and pistachio nuts.. One box of pasta, which it is not a pastry because it is without eggs and butter, but with lard in the dough and Marsala, It encloses a high-calorie filling rate. Dried figs, almonds, nuts, pine nuts, raisins, candied orange peel, cinnamon, pumpkin, dark chocolate, lemon zest and Marsala. In short, perfect for a sweet CHRISTMAS MENU perfect.
The buccellato then triumphs on Christmas table, exposed to table center from the beginning of the dinner as a wonderful ornament, symbol of gastronomic lust. My grandfather Giovanni, Palermo transferred (riottosamente) in Messina, she loved him very much because it reminded him of his Palermo and the recipe to you is that of family, inherited from generations, as many of the dishes that you find in my SICILIAN RECIPES.
The history of Palermo buccellato
In the dialect it is called buccellato “cucciddatu”, indicative time not only the sweet Palermo, but also many variations across the island, often in the form of cookies filled with the same mixture. The name is derived from Latin “HARDTACK”, a sweet bread in the shape of a donut that was consumed in small bites (‘buccelli’) in festive period. This sweet is so important and representative of Sicilian pastry that it has been included among the Pat, traditional food products. Undeniable the Arab influence in its preparation, starting with the use of candied fruit. Always tied to the Latin etymology is another buccellato, to Lucca, which it is a soft donut with raisins.
Some advice for a perfect buccellato
The preparation of buccellato Palermo is a bit’ long but not difficult. I respond promptly to some questions that surely will make me: lard is necessary, the original recipe so provides and is a very perishable butterfat. Though, if you really do not want to use lard, use butter: They forgive you in advance. Do not skip the passage of the rest in the refrigerator overnight because it serves to do is nudge the pastry is the filling.
The only thing you need pay attention is the insertion into the dough of the filling and the rolling of the dessert: If you are a first cracks may form, do not despair and arrange manipulating the dough. The decoration you see on the surface of buccellato, you perform with a pastry cla ply which I saw used only in Sicily and Sardinia (other region of ancient confectionery traditions). You can replace it with a fork poking buccellato.
It is cooked in the oven and is rather short, just 30 minutes: the sweet, well done, It lasts a long time. To make buccellato shiny, you brush it with warm honey, neutral apricot jelly or marmalade dissolved with a little water. Finally, buccellato is decorated with candied fruit and chopped pistachios. Depending on the area of Sicily where you are, you can find the buccellato also garnished with sugar icing and colored sugar tails. I find it much more beautiful glossy version with candied. Prepared for the Immaculate, It served at Christmas and throughout the holiday season, although in Palermo now it is found in pastry shops all year. Have a good day!
- FOR THE DOUGH
300 grams of flour 00
150 grams of lard (the donkey)
100 grams of sugar)
a pinch of fine salt
Marsala, to taste
- FOR THE FILLING
300 grams of raisins
100 grams of almonds
300 grams of dried figs
130 grams of dark chocolate
50 grams of walnuts
30 grams pine nuts
40 grams of candied orange peel
20 grams of pumpkin
a pinch of salt
the zest of a grated lemon60 milliliters of Marsala
cinnamon powder, to taste
- FOR DECORATION
50 grams of pistachios
candied fruits (oranges, cherries, pumpkin), to taste
neutral apricot jelly or wildflower honey or apricot jam, to taste
An hour before you start preparing buccellato, put raisins in bath in hot water. After an hour, drain the raisins and dry it perfectly with absorbent paper.
For the casing, put on the countertop the sifted flour, Salt, sugar and lard. Mix with the fingertips until obtaining a dough large crumbs, then add some Marsala, always mix. Combine Marsala much as necessary to obtain a firm dough, smooth and not damp, as a pastry. Wrap the dough in the food film and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least two hours.
While the dough for the base of the buccellato rests, We prepare the filling. Toast the almonds, pine nuts and walnut kernels, then chopped dried fruit coarsely. Make into small pieces not too small dried figs (eliminating the stalk). Finely chop the pumpkin and candied orange. Make the chocolate into small pieces.
Put into a pan dried figs, chocolate, raisins, the chopped dried fruit, candied fruit, the grated lemon rind, a teaspoon of cinnamon, a pinch of salt and Marsala. Cook over low heat for 30 minutes, stirring often. After the cooking time, transferring the stuffing of buccellato into a container and let cool completely.
To dial the buccellato: lightly flour the work surface. Spread the dough for the outer casing into a rectangle (about 20x30). Working the stuffing now cold compressing it between his hands in tubular form, the same length as rettandolo of dough. Put the filling in the center of the dough and close the flaps, pressing well to seal the buccellato.
Finally, gently, rolling the buccellato closing on itself in the form of donut. If they allowed to form small cracks, richiudetele manipulating the dough. You have to get a smooth ring. If you have the tweezers to decorate cakes, pinch the dough the way you like it the most. If you haven't, pierce the dough regularly and decoratively with the backs of a fork. If the dough is pierced letting the filling catch a glimpse, do not worry, is normal. Indeed, in many pastry shops of Palermo do precisely so that the filling showing through.
Put in refrigerator overnight buccellato. The next day, preheat the oven to 180 degrees and bake for 30 minutes buccellato. While the cooks buccellato, dissolve some neutral apricot jelly, of apricot jam or honey with a tablespoon of water and bring to a boil. Once baked buccellato, let it cool. Finally, brush the cake with jelly, jam or honey hot. Buccellato Garnish with chopped pistachios and candied fruit to your liking.
The buccellato Palermo is a dessert that is preserved for a long time. You just have to keep it in a cool, dry place., wrapped in plastic wrap. Usatelo, as they did in ancient times, as a table centerpiece: It will be a special Christmas.