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The cartellate, or carteddate, are a Christmas cake typical of Puglia and some areas of Basilicata and Calabria (where they are known respectively as rosacatarre, or rosachitars, and nèvole). It is an ancient dessert, a not too sweet but aromatic dough (which I hope I have made the best of it) that is spread very thin, rolled on itself as if to form swivels, fried and sprinkled with honey and colored sugars. There are those who say that they should represent the halo of baby Jesus, others the swaddling clothes in which it was wrapped (or again, someone else also speaks of the crown of thorns, perhaps less likely given the period). Be that as it may, it is a particular but very good recipe, which you should try at least once in your life 😉


Procedure for preparing cartellate

Prepare the dough: heat the olive oil with the orange and lemon peels in a saucepan, fry, turn off and let cool; add the flour, the flavored oil and the cooked must in a bowl, then work until you get a homogeneous dough.

Roll out the dough into a very thin sheet (about 3 mm): I used the puff pastry machine, but the rolling pin is fine too.

Cut the dough into strips 4 cm wide and 40 cm long, then take 1 at a time, fold it in half from the short side without joining it and pinch the dough at intervals of 3-4 cm, creating small pockets, as you can see in the photo.
Finally, roll up the strip on itself, without joining the sides of the pockets.

Continue like this with all the other strips and, when they are all ready, heat the seed oil in a saucepan and fry them a few at a time until golden brown, then drain them on kitchen paper.

Heat the honey in another saucepan together with the orange juice and, once well melted (without bringing it to a boil) turn off and immerse the cartellate in the mixture, then decorate with the sugars.

The cartellate are ready: serve them immediately.

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