Cuciaddatu

Yield: 1 Servings

Measure Ingredient
2 pounds Unbleached flour
1 cup Confectioners' sugar
3 \N Pinches salt
1 pounds (2 c.) vegetable shortening
8 \N Whole eggs plus 2 yolks; beaten together
3 tablespoons Cognac
½ pounds Blanched almonds
½ pounds Filberts or hazelnuts
½ cup (3 oz.) pine nuts
1 pounds Plus 2 oz. raisins
¾ cup Honey
¼ cup Sugar
2 teaspoons Cinnamon
2 teaspoons Unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons Cognac
¼ cup Water
2 \N Beaten egg whites
\N \N Nonpareils

PASTRY

FILLING

Cuciaddatu is another of the known authentic recipes from my great-grandfather Cologero Vilardi. The poor people of the region prepare this Christmas pastry with dried figs; the rich, with raisins. In these Sicilian mountains fig trees are plentiful and one can always find figs to dry. But to have raisins, one must own a vineyard. Traditionally, this pastry if formed in the shape of a log, but Papa Andrea often formed individual turnovers. The women of Polizzi Generosa, a small mountain city, still gather in small groups during the Christmas season to bake their cuciaddatu in wood-burning ovens.

Toast the filberts in a hot oven for about 5 minutes. Be sure they do not burn. When they are cool enough to handle, rub them together to remove as much of the inner shell as possible. Chop together the filberts, almonds, and raisins. Heat the honey, sugar, cinnamon, cocoa, cognac, and water together, bringing the mixture slowly to a boil. Let it boil for 5 minutes.

Turn in the chopped nuts and raisins, and the whole pine nuts. When they are well coated, remove the pot from the heat and allow it to cool.

Meanwhile, prepare the dough. Sift together the flour, sugar, and three pinches of salt. Cut in the shortening, then cut in the beaten eggs and egg yolks. Mix in the cognac, and knead just until the dough is elastic. Form it into a ball, lightly dust it, cover it in a cloth, and let it rest for 15 minutes. If you are preparing logs, divide the dough in half and roll it into two rectangles, ¼-inch thick, Place half the filling on each, form it into a log shape, seal the seam very well, close the ends and place seam-side-down onto a cookie sheet. Brush with egg white and decorate with nonpareils. Bake in a 350oF oven for one hour or until a pale golden color.

When the logs are completely cooled, wrap them in plastic wrap to ensure freshness. If you are making turnovers, roll out the dough, fairly thin, about 1/16 inch. Cut out 4-inch circles. Place a small mound of the nut-and-raisin mixture on half of the circle, about ¼ inch from the edge.

Brush the edge with beaten egg white. Fold over the other half, and pinch the seam together to form a tight seal. Place it on a cookie sheet. When the cookie sheet is filled, brush the top of each turnover with egg white and decorate with nonpareils. Bake in a preheated 350oF oven for about 20 minutes, or until barely golden on top. When they are completely cooled, store them in a closed cookie tin to ensure freshness. Makes two logs or about 5 dozen turnovers.

Recipe from Papa Andrea's Sicilian Tables: Recipes From a Sicilian Chef Recipe by: MAILING LIST 1995

Posted to recipelu-digest Volume 01 Number 445 by ctlindab@... on Jan 4, 1998

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