- By AbruzzoCibus
- On Jan 11, 2019
Extra virgin olive oil, mountain flour, pepper and anise. These are the biscuits from Abruzzo, rustic but delicate sweets at the same time, in which the typical aromas and flours of the area stand out. Today we will tell you about 9 regional specialties and the recipe for Ferretti di Roseto degli Abruzzi pastry spumini. Tresca biscuits, pebbles, spumini, mother-in-law languages. They are sweets with an intense flavor and a long history, rustic but with a gentle taste. For the heading on regional biscuits we bring you to Abruzzo, with 9 traditional specialties and the recipe of spumini of pastry Ferretti, Due Torte in the 2017 edition of the guide Pasticceri & Pasticcerie.
In Abruzzo the amaretti were the typical sweets of the carnival, but today they are produced throughout the year. Unlike the Piedmontese recipe, in this version, in addition to the sweet and bitter almonds, the little arms and the whipped egg whites, there is also a decided dose of lemon peel, which gives an aroma different from those of the traditional macaroons of the other regions .
It starts by chopping the almonds with sugar and whipping the egg whites apart. Once the two parts are joined, add the grated lemon peel.At this point the mixture must rest in the fridge for at least 3 hours.After this time, it is spread on a pastry board covered with a layer of flour and sugar and some little squashed rods are created. Finally they bake at 150 degrees for about 30 minutes.
Tresca in Abruzzo means threshing: these sweets from a very simple recipe were prepared on this occasion during the last phase of the harvest, when the grain of the wheat was separated from straw and chaff. They were the peasants to eat them, taking them with them and soaking them in wine at the end of the working day.
To prepare them at home they serve flour, eggs, brown sugar, milk, extra virgin olive oil, yeast, lemon peel and cinnamon. First the flour is sieved and mixed with the yeast, then immediately add the sugar, half the eggs and the milk. It is kneaded for a few minutes and incorporates the rest of the eggs, the olive oil and the aromas. The mixture should be soft but not too much, similar to that of shortcrust pastry.
Once the mass is rolled out, biscuits of about 7 centimeters are obtained, then rather large, and placed on a floured pan, spaced at least 4 centimeters apart, to prevent them from sticking together during cooking. Cook for 15 minutes, or until complete browning, at about 180 degrees.
Cancelle or ferratelle
The gates, also called ferratelle, are widespread sweets in Abruzzzo and Molise. They remember, for the grid that decorates the surface, the English waffles (or goufre in Belgium), but they differ because they are much thinner. They are cooked with a double plate red-hot on the fire, which gives them the classic form of wafer covered by ribs. The traditional plates have different designs, the most common is diamond shaped, hence the name ferratelle used in some parts of the region (but are also called nivole or neole in Teramo, pizzell and in the province of L’Aquila, while in the variant with two pods overlapped and stuffed take the name of capchiole). Originally they were produced especially for weddings: it is not uncommon to find plates in the shape of a heart.They are eaten with jam, usually of grapes, but also custard or chocolate: in some countries they are stuffed, rolled up and eaten like a cannolo.
The wine donuts are a common dessert, widespread in different regions, particularly in central Italy. The particularity of the Abruzzese version lies in the use of Solina – a mountain soft wheat flour cultivated mainly in the Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga national park area – and of Montepulciano, an indigenous wine of which the Abruzzesi are very proud.
Along with these two ingredients also flour, sugar, extra virgin olive oil and especially anise or fennel seeds, which gives the donuts an intense aroma. To make them just sift the flour and add it to the wine previously mixed with the oil, sugar and aromas, continuing to knead until you get a homogeneous consistency. At this point the mass should rest in the fridge for half an hour covered with a cloth. After this period the mixture is taken up again and cords are formed to close at the ends, as is done with the taralli. Finally, they bake at 190 degrees for about 20 minutes.
A specialty of the province of Chieti, where the rustic flavor of spelled flour and toasted almonds and the aroma of grappa prevails. Usually they are eaten at the end of the meal, on the occasion of the parties, together with a sweet wine or a liqueur.
The basic ingredients are 00 flour, spelled flour, eggs, almonds, sugar, dark chocolate, butter, brandy, aniseed (in some versions replaced by aniseed liqueur), yeast. As a first step the whole almonds are toasted and combined with the eggs already beaten together with the sugar. The chocolate is chopped coarsely and inserted into the mixture. Then add the two mixed and sifted flours, the butter at room temperature, the aniseed seeds, the grappa and the yeast. In case the anise liqueur is used, the amount of flour should be slightly increased. Once ready the mass, which must be compact, 10-12 cm strips are formed to be baked for about 20 minutes at 180 degrees. Once golden on the surface, the strips should be cut into thin slices and rusks for another 10 minutes at the same temperature.
We have already spoken on several occasions of the mostaccioli, spread a bit ‘throughout the peninsula, especially in Umbria, Campania, Molise, Calabria, but also Sardinia and Lombardy. Given the links between the two regions, this recipe is very close to that of Molise, except for the presence of extra virgin olive oil. Also in this case the cinnamon aromatization prevails and (in some local versions) the cloves, while the crunchiness of the biscuits is given by the crushed almonds but also by the dark chocolate glaze. Sometimes a small portion of cooked must is added to the mixture, which gives its name to these sweets, which has now fallen into disuse in almost all the recipes.
Try preparing them at home with flour, dark chocolate, sugar, eggs, liquid honey, coarsely chopped almonds, extra virgin olive oil, yeast, cinnamon and cloves.
These biscuits are also found in Molise and in Abruzzo, particularly in the province of Teramo. They are sweets with a strong flavor, which are prepared during the Christmas period, but now they can be found at different times of the year. The difference with the recipe from Molise is in the use of the flour of ” tritello” which, together with bran, bran and flour, is part of the by-products of the grinding of durum wheat, obtained according to the different degrees of milling. Alternatively, whole wheat flour can be used.
The recipe includes flour of “tritello” (sometimes mixed with a small part of 00 flour for a lighter flavor), honey, orange peel and, of course, plenty of pepper. It starts with honey, which must be heated in a saucepan until it boils. At this point the peeled almonds and the orange peel are immersed. The mixture is amalgamated and poured over the flour, working the mixture with a spatula. Finally, the well-ground pepper is added. Once the mixture is homogeneous, it is spread in a rectangle with a thickness of 3 centimeters and baked at 180 degrees for 10 minutes. As soon as it begins to brown, take it out of the oven and cut into slices of about 1 cm to be placed on the baking tray to continue cooking for another 15 minutes.
Sassi d’Abruzzo or landed almonds
It is an original product that arises from the need to use broken almonds unusable for confetti and then become famous throughout the region, with different variations. They were invented by the Cicconi family, owner of a confectionery of Sant’Egidio alla Vibrata, in Val Vibrata, in the province of Teramo. They are small crunchy biscuits, called precisely pebbles or landed almonds, which use fragments of toasted almonds (or chopped more than roughly), sugar, water, cocoa powder, lemon zest and cinnamon. In some cases, half a glass of alchermes or coffee is added.
The sugar is melted in a non-stick pan along with water (and possibly alchermes or coffee) over medium heat. The almonds and cocoa are mixed continuously. Once the liquids have withdrawn and the sugar has formed small lumps on the almonds, remove the mixture from the heat and pour it on a marble surface (or on a sheet of kitchen paper). The whole is cooled slightly and the almonds are separated one by one, with the help of a spoon. When they are completely cold, the landed almonds are ready to serve.
Another variant present above all in Teramo provides that it is also used in dark chocolate and that the almonds are detached to “small groups” of four or five, so that the sweets are larger. They are usually served inside colored paper cups.
Simple biscuits, also called nougat , made in different ways according to the province of origin. They are eaten in the winter months, drenched in tea or in a liqueur at the end of a meal. They can be in the form of bars, covered with a glaze made with water and sugar, or in the shape of a meringue. In the simplest version, only egg whites, toasted almonds and sugar are used, while the richer variants also include lemon zest and cinnamon.
But we will not say anything else about the procedure: this is the recipe that we have given away from the Ferretti pastry shop in Roseto degli Abruzzi, Teramo province, Due Torte in the 2017 edition of the pastry and pastry guide.
Recipe of the Ferretti di Roseto degli Abruzzi pastry cakes (TE)
1 kg of egg white (about 30)
2.5 kg of granulated sugar,
500 g of toasted fillet almonds
Beat the egg whites with a third of the sugar dose. Add the rest in two different phases, continuing to assemble. When the mass is well swollen add the already toasted almonds. Put the mixture in a pastry bag and form small meringues on a non-stick baking tray.
Bake at 100 degrees for about 2 ½ hours. If necessary, make a test by cutting a biscuit in half: the product must in fact be dry inside. Allow to cool and serve.