While I could eat this all year round, I am going to use the fact that Christmas is just around the corner and we all need something impressive to serve when we start entertaining for the festive season as my excuse to make this as […]
This recipe ties to the last recipe I posted, Buccellato Siciliano . You may not want to make a large wreath and maybe prefer to make some biscuits instead. These are called Buccellatini and they are made using the exact same ingredients. I’m adding a separate […]
Buccellato is a traditional fragrant and sweet Sicilian pastry which starts appearing in December and is usually associated with the Christmas holidays. Dried figs, spices, sweet Sicilian wine called Zibibbo and nuts such as pistachio, walnuts, almonds and dark chocolate are encased in a sweet shortcrust pastry. It is shaped to form a wreath and the bright colours from the candied fruit decorations make it a perfect centrepiece for any Christmas table.
Christmas in Italy is usually always associated with Panettone and Pandoro, and people usually have a firm favourite of the two. I love Panettone and I am quite capable of eating a whole one myself….. in one day! While Panettone and Pandoro are widely manufactured industrially, Buccellato is still made by hand, or found in specialist pastry shops or bakeries in Sicily. It isn’t commonly found throughout Italy, and not all Italians know what Buccellato is. Traditionally it was an important gift marking family milestones. It was a pastry associated with bringing good fortune and prosperity. Ingredients can be expensive, so it really was a gift that was made and given from the heart and something that would have been greatly appreciated by whoever received it. There is also a Buccellato that is made in Lucca, but this is more like a fruit bread flavoured with aniseed.
Sicily’s Buccellato reminds me of my English mother’s Christmas baking; Christmas Pudding, Christmas Cake and Fruit Mince Pies are really quite similar to Buccellato. Dried fruits, nuts and alcohol together are always a marriage made in heaven as far as I’m concerned. Some people make ‘Buccellatini’, and these are made using the same ingredients, but are like biscuits. They resemble a ‘Fig Newton’ and are sometimes decorated with icing and hundreds & thousands. I remember my Calabrian Nonna making something like these during my childhood. I made about a dozen Buccellatini when I realised I had some leftover pastry and filling.
- I suggest making the pastry and preparing the filling the day before, allowing both the pastry and the filling to rest overnight in the refrigerator. The following day, you can roll out the pastry, fill and shape your Buccellato and pop it in the oven.
- 500g plain flour
- 150g white sugar
- 100g butter
- 100g lard
- 3 eggs
- pinch salt
- 1 tablespoon honey
Sift the flour and add to a food processor. Add all other ingredients and mix until a dough forms. Turn out onto a lightly floured work bench, knead gently and roll into a sausage-like shape. Cover in plastic kitchen wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.
- 500g dried figs, chopped
- 300g jar fig jam
- 100g almonds
- 100g hazlenuts
- 50g walnuts
- 50g pistachio nuts
- 50ml ‘Zibibbo’ wine or Marsala
- 300g mixed candied peel
- 100g dark chocolate, grated
- 50g suet (or vegetable fat i.e. Crisco)
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 beaten egg (to brush on pastry)
- Orange Marmalade, glacè cherries, ground pistachio and candied orange peel to decorate
- Chop the figs and candied peel into small pieces.
- Place nuts in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
- Add figs, nuts, fig jam, Zibibbo, candied peel, lemon zest, suet, cinnamon and ground cloves to a large saucepan. Heat on low heat, and mix all ingredients well for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow filling to cool completely. (photo 2)
- Mix grated chocolate through filling. (photo 4)
- Preheat oven to 180°C.
- Roll pastry out onto a lightly floured board and cut into a rectangle shape, circa 35cm x 20cm. Place the filling into the centre of the rectangle, shaping into a sausage shape. Using a pastry brush, paint one long edge of the pastry with the beaten egg. Gently roll pastry around filling and gently roll back and forth to unite pastry around filling, forming a long log shape.
- Brush the beaten egg on one end and join the ends by gently shaping the log to form a wreath. Transfer Buccellato onto an oven tray lined with baking paper. (photo 6)
- Using pastry tweezers or crimpers, pinch the pastry all over the wreath. (photo 7) (I didn’t have the crimpers so I used basic small kitchen tongs). Brush the entire Buccellato with beaten egg (8) and bake for 30 – 40 minutes until it is golden brown.
- Heat marmalade in a saucepan over low heat and once warm, use a pastry brush to coat entire surface of Buccellato.
- Decorate as desired.
- 500g farina 00
- 150g di zucchero
- 100 g di strutto
- 100g burro
- 3 uova
- pizzico di sale
- 1 un cucchiaio di miele
Mettete in un robot di cucina la farina setacciate, e aggiungete tutti gli altri ingredienti. Impastare tutto e avvolgete con la pellicola e fate riposare per almeno un ora o per una notte in frigo.
- 500 g di fichi secchi tagliati piccoli
- 300g barattolo di marmellata di fichi
- 50g strutto
- 100 g di mandorle
- 100 g di nocciole
- 50 g di noci
- 50 g di pistacchi
- 250ml vino zibibbo
- 100 g di cedrata
- 100 g di zuccata
- 100 g di bucce d’arancia
- 100 g di cioccolata fondente
- scorza di 1 limone grattugiato
- 1 cucchiaino di cannella
- ½ cucchiaino di chiodi di garofano macinati
1 uovo sbattuto (per spennellare sopra il buccellato)
Marmellata d’arancia, ciliegie e arancia canditi, pistacchi macinati per decorare
Preriscaldare il forno a 180 ° C.
Tagliate a mano i fichi e i canditi in piccoli pezzi.
Mettere noci in un robot da cucina e pulsare fino a tritarli.
Aggiungere i fichi, noci, marmellata di fichi, Zibibbo, canditi, scorza di limone, strutto, cannella e chiodi di garofano macinato in una pentola grande. Scaldare a fuoco basso e mescolare bene tutti gli ingredienti per circa 5 minuti. Togliere dal fuoco e lasciare raffreddare completamente. (foto 2)
Aggiungere il cioccolato grattugiato. (foto 4)
Stendere la frolla sopra una tavola leggermente infarinato e tagliatelo in una forma rettangolare, circa 35cm x 20cm. Posizionare il ripieno nel centro del rettangolo, modellando in una forma di salsiccia. Utilizzando l’uovo, spennellare lungo un bordo lungo della frolla. Arrotolare delicatamente la frolla intorno al ripieno e continuare a rotolare delicatamente avanti e indietro per unire la frolla intorno al riempimento, formando un tronco lungo.
Spennellare l’uovo sbattuto su un’estremità e unire le due estremità girando con calma per riuscirlo a chiudere a forma di ciambella. Trasferire il Buccellato su una teglia foderata con la carta da forno.
Usando l’apposita pinzetta*, pizzicare la frolla. (Vedi foto 7). (Siccome non avevo la pinzetta per pasticceria che ci vuole, ho usato delle banali pinze da cucina. Potete usare le pinzette per cake design se avete quelli in casa).
Spennellare l’intero Buccellato con l’uovo sbattuto e cuocere per 30-40 minutes fino a che non sia dorato.
Scaldare la marmellata di arancia in una pentola a fuoco basso e una volta caldo, spennellarla su tutta il superficie di Buccellato.
Decorare il vostra Buccellato a piacere.
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