Handmade :: Pesche all’alchermes :: Cream Peach Cookies

Cream Peach Cookies ⭐ Recipe in EN…

1109_sarascutti_©giuseppemarone
Love, Sara 🙂

Le pesche all’alchermes sono un classico dolcetto della tradizione italiana. Di origine romagnola, ma diffuse in tutte le regioni italiane, mi ricordano l’infanzia perchĂ© presenti un po’ in tutte le feste, dal Natale alla Pasqua e poi alla Festa della mamma.

Sono delle semisfere di biscotto ripiene di crema pasticcera o crema gianduia o marmellata, inzuppate nell’alchermes e poi fatte rotolare nello zucchero per dare quel colore rosa tipico del frutto.

L’alchermes ù un liquore molto utilizzato in pasticceria come bagna alcolica, e proprio in Abruzzo ù molto usato per la tradizionale “pizza dolce”, il tipico dolce della domenica. Ovvero un dolce composto da strati di pan di spagna inzuppati nell’alchermes e farciti con uno strato di crema al cioccolato e uno strato di crema pasticcera.

La ricetta di queste pesche Ăš proprio quella tradizionale: farina, zucchero, burro, scorza di limone e latte q.b., le ho poi farcite con crema di nocciole spalmabile e crema pasticcera, decorate con foglioline di ostia.

Ingredients... :: Cream Peach Cookies | Recipe and Photo ©SaraScutti
Ingredients… :: Cream Peach Cookies | Recipe and Photo ©SaraScutti

A tavola con Appetibilis :: Sara Scutti's Pesche d'inverno all'alchermes

  • Servings: 20
  • Difficulty: medium
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Ingredienti per 20 pesche | Tempi di preparazione: 2 ore ca. | DifficoltĂ  media


Ingredienti per la pasta biscotto

500 gr di farina 00
3 uova
100 gr di burro morbido
175 gr di zucchero semolato
4 cucchiai di latte
Scorza di un limone
1 bustina di lievito vanigliato per dolci

Ingredienti per la farcia

Crema di nocciole spalmabile q.b.
Crema pasticcera q.b.

Ingredienti per la decorazione

Alchermes q.b.
Zucchero semolato q.b.

Procedimento – In una ciotola setaciare la farina, aggiungere lo zucchero, la scorza di limone, il burro ammorbidito a cubetti, le uova, e infine il lievito.
Cominciate ad impastare con le mani, aggiungendo se necessario qualche cucchiaio di latte, fino ad ottenere un impasto piuttosto morbido.

Formate delle palline di circa 20 gr di peso e ponetele sulla placca del forno foderata di carta forno. Cuocete le palline nel forno preriscaldato a 180 gradi per circa 15-20 minuti. Sfornate e lasciatele intiepidire.

E’ il momento di farcire – Con un cucchiaino da caffĂš create un incavo alla base delle sfere svuotandolo leggermente. Riempite due sfere di crema pasticcera o crema di nocciole, e accoppiatele.

Per la decorazione – Con l’aiuto di un colino immergete velocemente le sfere nell’alchermes e passatele nello zucchero semolato, ponetele all’interno di un pirottino e decorate a piacere con delle foglioline di ostia o se preferite con delle foglioline di menta fresca.

That’s about the right quantity of cream… :: Cream Peach Cookies | Recipe and Photo ©SaraScutti

⭐ Sara’s Cream Peach Cookies

Alchermes-flavoured “peaches” are a typical Italian traditional peach-shaped pastry. They remind me of my childhood holidays because I used to have them at Christmas, Easter and on Mother’s Day.

They are half globe-shaped cookies stuffed with créme patissiére, hazelnut chocolate cream or jam. The cookies are soaked into Alchermes (i.e. a spices infused scarlet-coloured liqueur) and then covered with sugar. The soaked cookies turn pink and resemble the actual fruit.

The following recipe is the traditional one: wheat flour, sugar, butter, lemon peel and milk. I filled them with spreadable hazelnut chocolate cream and créme patissiére, with leaves of wafer paper for decoration.

Hands-on... :: Cream Peach Cookies | Recipe and Photo ©SaraScutti
Hands-on… :: Cream Peach Cookies | Recipe and Photo ©SaraScutti

Cooking with Appetibilis :: Sara Scutti's Cream 'Peach' Cookies

  • Servings: 20
  • Difficulty: medium
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Ingredients for cookie dough:

500 gr wheat flour
3 eggs
100 gr soft butter
175 gr sugar
4 spoonful of milk
1 lemon peel
1 dose of vanilla-flavoured baking powder

Ingredients for stuffing:
Hazelnut chocolate spread as required
Créme patissiére as required

Ingredients for decoration:
Alchermes liqueur as required
Sugar as required

Start with the cookie dough – Sift the flour, add sugar, lemon peel, diced softened butter, eggs and baking powder. Knead the dough, add milk if required, until you get a soft dough. Let it rest for about 30 minutes.

Make 20 gr balls and place them onto a baking tray covered with greaseproof paper. Bake at 180 °C for about 15-20 minutes. Let cool.

Assemble the peaches – With the help of a tea spoon scoop the cookies and scrape out enough crumbs to make space for cream. Fill up two cookies with crĂ©me patissiĂ©re o hazelnut chocolate spread and sandwich them together so that the filling comes just to the edge. Here you have a “peach”.

Time to decorate – Put each peach into a strainer and quickly soak it into the Alchermes, then into the sugar; place them into a paper cup and decorate with some wafers or some fresh mint leaves.
Bon Appetit!

Sara’s Sagnette, Ceci e Cicorietta

Sagnette Pasta Recipe in EN ⭐ Click here

Le sagne sono un “must” dell’Abruzzo, si consumano volentieri sia d’estate che d’inverno e in questi giorni di neve e vento gelido, non c’Ăš niente di meglio di un piatto fumante di sagnette fatte in casa. Sara Scutti propone la sua versione di un piatto considerato “povero” di materie prime, ma non certo di sapore, in quanto i legumi, il peperone e la verdura forniscono in abbondanza sapori e aromi che si armonizzano perfettamente.

Non resta che provare!

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colage_sagnette_©sarascutti
Recipe and Photo ©SaraScutti

Le sagnette o tacconelle o ancora sagne a pezzi sono tipiche di tutto l’Abruzzo e il Molise. Ne esistono diverse varianti, sia nel nome che nel formato: possono essere simili a tagliatelle corte oppure a pezzi dalla forma romboidale: quello che le caratterizza ù l’assenza di uova nell’impasto.

In passato, la semplicità degli ingredienti rendeva questa pasta adatta al pranzo di tutti i giorni, mentre nei giorni di festa si preferiva la classica pasta all’uovo. 

Questa tradizione Ăš rimasta immutata nel corso degli anni e ancora oggi Ăš nei giorni di festa che ci si dedica maggiormente alla cucina, preparando piatti di pasta “ricchi” come la classica chitarra, ravioli o lasagne, mentre durante la settimana si preferisce preparare un tipo di pasta piĂč “povera”, a base di acqua e semola di grano duro. Le sagnette si abbinano principalmente con ceci, fagioli e lenticchie, arricchite con guanciale o pancetta o le tipiche “cotiche” di maiale.

2261_sagnette_©sarascutti
Ingredients… | Recipe and Photo ©SaraScutti

Nella mia ricetta ho utilizzato ingredienti poverissimi: ceci, cicorietta e peperone crusco: semplici ma di sapore spiccato.

Cooking with Appetibilis :: Sara Scutti's Sagnette, Ceci e Cicorietta

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: medium
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Ingredienti per 4 persone | Tempi di preparazione: 2 ore ca. | DifficoltĂ  media


Ingredienti:

200 gr di semola rimacinata
200 gr di farina 00
1 pizzico di sale
Acqua tiepida q.b. (circa 2 bicchieri scarsi)

Condimento:

300 gr di cicorietta
300 gr di ceci lessati
4 filetti di acciughe
1 peperone crusco tritato grossolanamente
Cipolla q.b.
Olio evo q.b.
Sale q.b.
Pepe q.b.

Procedimento – Preparate la pasta versando le farine sulla spianatoia, salate e cominciate ad aggiungere acqua e ad impastare fino ad ottenere un panetto liscio che lascerete riposare per 30 circa minuti.

Nel frattempo in un tegame mettete a soffriggere la cipolla tritata, aggiungete le alicette, quindi versate i ceci e il peperone crusco. Fate insaporire qualche minuto ed aggiungete la cicorietta tagliata fine con un mestolo di acqua bollente. Fate cuocere per pochi minuti, giusto il tempo di far ammorbidire la cicorietta.

Per le sagnette – Stendete la pasta fino ad ottenere una sfoglia dello spessore di 3 millimetri circa, con l’aiuto del matterello ricavate delle strisce lunghe e larghe circa 1 cm (tipo tagliatelle). Sovrapponete le 3 strisce e cominciate a ricavare le sagnette di lunghezza di circa 4 cm.

Lessate le sagnette in acqua bollente salata, scolate e versatele nel tegame con il condimento. Fate insaporire a fuoco vivace e servite immediatamente.

⭐ Handmade :: Sara’s Sagnette Pasta with Chickpeas and Chicory

2325_sagnette_©sarascutti
Fresh handmade “Sagnette” pasta… | Recipe and Photo ©SaraScutti

“Sagnette, tacconelle or sagne a pezzi” [*] are typical Central Italy pasta shapes, their names and sizes may vary but their main feature is that they do no need egg in the dough. In the past, everyday pasta was made with “poor” ingredients i.e. flour and water and only on Sundays did people made egg pasta like chitarra, ravioli or lasagna.

Sagnette match perfectly with legumes (chickpeas, beans, lentils) and pork cheek, bacon or pork rind.

This recipe includes very simple and basic ingredients: chickpeas, chicory and sun-dried peppers.

Cooking with Appetibilis :: Sara Scutti's Sagnette Pasta with Chickpeas and Chicory

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: medium
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Ingredients

200 gr of remilled durum wheat semolina
200 gr of plain flour
a pinch of salt
about two glasses of lukewarm water (as required)

Condiment

300 grams of chicory
300 grams of boiled chickpeas
4 anchovy fillets
1 chopped sun-dried pepper – here’s from Altino, (Chieti)
1/2 onion
Salt (as required)
Black pepper (as required)
E.V.O. oil (as required)

Start with dough – Pour the flours on the board, add salt and some water (as much as is necessary), mix and knead the dough until you get a smooth block. Let it rest for about 30 minutes.

Move to condiment – In a saucepan gently sautĂ© the chopped onion with a dash of olive oil, add anchovies and stir. Then add chickpeas, salt, pepper and let it blend for few minutes. Stir in the chicory, sun-dried pepper and a ladle of boiling water. Cook for a few more minutes, until the chicory soften. Set aside for later.

Back to pasta dough – To prepare the “Sagnette”: Lightly dust the board and the dough with some flour, and with a rolling pin roll out the dough until you get a 3-mm thick sheet, cut in strips of about 1 cm large (like tagliatelle). Overlap 3 strips and start cutting the “sagnette” the size of 4 cm.

Boil the sagnette in salted boiling water, when ready (to taste) drain and stir them into the pan with condiment, sauté over high heat and serve immediately.

[*] The Italian “gn” sounds like “ny”. Sagnie – Sanye; Sagnette – Sanyette

Sara’s Waffles… Love on a shoestring

1109_sarascutti_©giuseppemarone
Love, Sara 🙂

Pizzelle, ferratelle, neole, coperchiole or cancellate describe the same Abruzzese pastry – names change according to the area they are made.
They are diamond-patterned waffles whose ingredients are very simple: eggs, wheat flour, sugar, lemon and extra virgin olive oil. They are usually offered two by two and filled with sweet stuffing.

You cannot make pizzelle without the iron tool, and, needless to say, tools vary in shapes and patterns: a rectangular shape with diamond pattern is very popular, so is the round one with tiny hearts engraved on it. In the old days, the tool (“il ferro”) used to be heated up directly on fire; nowadays electrically-operated waffle makers are easier to use.

1790_sara's_pizzelle

Tradition says that pizzelle tool was usually presented to the bride and it was customized with the family coat of arms or, more likely, with the ancestors’ initials on one side, and the manufacturing year on the other side. Oldest tools date back in 1700.

Cooking procedure is simple, just put the tool on the flame, spread some oil on its surface, heat the surface and then pour a spoonful of the mixture.

05 sara's_pizzelle_OAInkB

It takes about 1 minute to cook, traditionally the time to say a prayer on one side, turn the tool and say another prayer.
I love to use  my grandmother’s tool, the rectangular one with diamond-shape pattern, but I have some “modern” pizzelle makers with deeper grooves: pizzelle are softer and they look like French Gauffres or Belgian Waffles. They can be stuffed with custard, jam, hazelnut cream, or honey and nuts.
The recipe I am going to show is for Heart-shaped “Pizzelle”…

Cooking with Appetibilis :: Sara Scutti's Heart-shaped Pizzelle with Strawberries, Vanilla custard and chopped Hazelnuts

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: medium-low
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Ingredients:

for 24 Heart-shaped “Pizzelle”
6 eggs
6 spoonfuls of sugar
6 spoonfuls of extra virgin olive oil (evo)
1 and 1/2 spoonful of wheat all purpose flour (Italian 00)
1 lemon – grated zest

Vanilla custard
Use a recipe of your preference.
Here’s the link to a light and gluten free easy recipe from The Hairy Bikers

for serving
500 gr of strawberries
Chopped hazelnuts to taste

Special cookware
Waffle maker with irons

Preparation:

In a bowl, whisk eggs and sugar until you get a creamy and yellow mixture, add lemon zest, oil and flour.

Should the mixture be too liquid, add another spoonful of flour, [our grandmothers were adding the flour as last ingredients without having a specific dosage 😉 ]

Place the open waffle maker on the stove fire, grease the iron with some oil and let it heat. Pour a couple of spoonfuls of the mixture on the iron, close the maker, wait for 30 seconds, turn it on the other side and let cook for another 30′, then open it and remove the waffle with a fork prong.
If you use an electrically-operated maker, grease it, pour the mixture and let cook for 1 minute, then open it and remove the waffle.

Presentation

Spread some custard on one side the waffle, top it with sliced strawberries, put another waffle on top and dust with icing sugar and chopped hazelnuts.
Depending on how many different types of iron you have, you can unleash your fantasy about size, style and stuffing you prefer.
I’ve made a second batch on a rectangular iron; soft and delicious with chocolate-hazelnut custard.
Enjoy!

Handmade :: Sara’s Cocoa and Montepulciano “Drunk Cupcakes”

01 SaraScutti_Portrait_BuonApp_s

I would like to pay homage to my Abruzzo region with this recipe: unsweetened cocoa cupcakes with Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, our intense ruby-red wine.
I gave the name “drunk cupcakes” as they hide a bit of wine in their dough, and they are glazed with wine and cocoa icing. In the oven they will give off a strong chocolate flavor combined with the typical red-berry scent of the Montepulciano wine.

The perfect pairing for Montepulciano is with red meat, but I chose to use it for this miniature cakes, topped with sour cherry in syrup, my “cherry on the cake!”

Cooking with Appetibilis :: Sara Scutti's Tortine Ubriache

  • Servings: 20 pieces
  • Difficulty: medium
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Ingredients:

60 gr unsweetened cocoa powder
200 gr sugar
200 gr butter
100 ml Montepulciano d’Abruzzo wine
150 gr wheat flour
4 eggs
2 spoonfuls of Altino mild pepper powder (*)
1 pinch of salt
1 pack baking powder (16 gr)

Sour cherries in syrup to decorate

(*)you can use some hot chili pepper powder, if you like.

b>Special cookware

Muffin moulds, and crimped paper cups

Preparation:

Use a food processor to mix sugar, unsweetened cocoa, butter (non viene elencato negli ingredienti) and wine.
Pour the mixture into a saucepan and cook for a few minutes on low heat until boiling point. Set aside about a glass of this glaze (about 170 grams).

Pour the remaining glaze into a blender bowl, add eggs, sift in wheat, pepper and baking powder, with a pinch of salt. Blend until it gets smooth.

Place the paper cups into the muffin mould and fill them 3/4 full max. If a muffin mould is not available, pour the mixture into a 24 cm diameter cake pan or into a ring-shaped mould.

Bake at 180 °C, 20-25 minutes. Check with a toothpick if ready (toothpick should come out clean).

Presentation:

Take the cupcakes out of the oven, remove them form the moulds and with a spoon top each cake with Montepulciano glaze.

Serve it with some sour cherries in syrup whose sweet flavour will perfectly match the Montepulciano.

A shot of ratafiĂ  liqueur will be the perfect pairing for these pastry.