For your Christmas table, try this fantastic and traditional recipe from the South of Italy.
Makes about 2-3 dozen
• 4 cups of flour
• 1 cup of white wine (warm)
• 1 large egg
• 3 tbsp. of olive oil
• Powdered cinnamon & powdered cloves for garnish
Tool: Circular serrated pastry cutter or pizza cutter
• 1 bottle (750 ml) of dry red wine
• 1 1/2 cups of sugar
• 4 strips of orange peel
Cotto di Fichi Secchi (Dried Fig Syrup)
• 3 dozen dried figs
• Water (as much as needed)
Mix ingredients in a food processor or an electric stand mixer until a soft, even dough is obtained.
Then let rest for 10 minutes.
Cut the dough in quarters and roll it out to the same thickness as a lasagna sheet using a rolling pin or a pasta machine.
Use the pastry cutter to create long rectangular strips of dough of about 10 to 12 inches long and about 1 1/2 inch wide.
The consistency of the sheets should be firm enough to hold their shape.
Keep dough covered while working to prevent the surface from drying out.
Start shaping and forming the cartellate by pinching the pastry strips with your fingers making the edges stick together every inch or so.
Work your way to the end of the strip, forming little pockets that will hold the fig or wine syrup.
Roll to form little wheels with several indentations by sticking the pockets of dough together with your fingers so they hold their shape.
Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 350°F until evenly golden (about 3 to 5 minutes).
Pour the vincotto into a pan, then add the cartellate facing down, ensuring they soak up the syrup.
Once cooled, dust with powdered cinnamon and powdered cloves.
Let them sit at room temperature for 24 hours before storing or refrigerating them.
They can be stored for up to 4 weeks.
Pour wine in a saucepot, stir in the sugar, and bring to a boil on medium heat.
Add the orange peels and cook uncovered for 1 to 2 hours or until liquid reduces by half.
Cotto di Fichi Secchi
Cut the dried figs in quarters and place in 2 litres of warm water.
Strain the figs and then squeeze them to collect as much juice as possible.
Discard the figs and place the liquid in a pot.
Boil, uncovered, at medium heat for about 2 to 3 hours or until the liquid is fairly thick (like maple syrup) and reduced by half.