Christmas Italian Recipe Italian Cake's Italian Dessert

CARTELLATE: Christmas Fritters in Cooked Wine

The apulian Cartellate are a typical Christmas dessert. Its origins can be traced back to several sources.

The word “cartellata” probably derives from the process of “incartellare” (vulgar synonym for wrapping). 

From the courtesy of:


  • 3 ½ lb figs
  • 7 oz water
  • 1 leaf of bay leaves, (optional)
  • 5 cloves , (optional)

  • 2 lb all-purpose flour
  • 3 ½ oz durum wheat flour
  • 3 ½ oz eggs
  • ¾ oz salt
  • lb white wine
  • 1 ¾ oz water
  • 7 oz extra virgin olive oil
  • lemons to taste
  • vanilla powder (or vanilla extract) to taste


Put all the ingredients for the preparation of the Vin Cotto (lit. cooked wine) into a large pot.

Step 2

Leave to cook for around two hours until the mixture thickens.

Step 3

Filter through a conical strainer.

Step 4

Make a well in the center of the flour, put in the egg, semolina and salt and mix the lot together.

Step 5

Keep mixing until a soft homogeneous dough is obtained.

Step 6

When the dough is completed leave to rest for 10 minutes.

Step 7

Roll out the pastry and cut it with a circular pastry cutter.

Step 8

Pinch the pastry with the fingers.

Step 9

Roll to form little wheels with several indentations. Lay on a baking sheet lined with oven paper and bake at 350°F letting them brown uniformly.

Step 10

Put the Vin Cotto into a pan, add the Cartellate and leave them to gain flavor.

The “Vin Cotto” must be sugary, and therefore not too moist, so as to adhere well to the Cartellate.

The pastry of the Cartellate must be fairly dry, since they must be rigid to easily handle them during the process of preparation.

Otherwise they tend to collapse.

The Cartellate can be prepared with honey or with caster sugar only.

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