Quaresimali are my obsession this Easter! I have already made them three times as they cannot last until Easter!
They are ancient Liguria sweets traditional in the Lent period and at Easter. They are made just with almonds, sugar, few egg white and orange blossom water.
You can see them in all pastry shops and bakeries. The most famous in town (and my fav when I do not prepare them at home) are those of Romanengo and Villa Profumo.
Some years ago I wrote a post on the backstage of Romanengo workshop just before Easter where I also tell the story of Quaresimali, you can have a look at it: Romanengo at Easter.
Here the recipe and have fun! They are a perfect dish to prepare with kids too!
- 250 g of sweet almonds
- 250 g of icing sugar (more to dust the worktop)
- 1 egg white
- 3 teaspoons of orange blossom water
- 2 tablespoons of fig jam
- colored and white funfetti to decorate
For the icing
- 250 g of icing sugar
- 1 egg white slightly beaten
- ½ teaspoon of lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon of water
- Blend the almonds with icing sugar finely in the mixer, with intermittent mode. Add all the orange blossom water. Then add the egg white, lightly beaten (it should not incorporate air), little by little. Adjust to eye and touch. You must obtain a dough with a compact and not sticky consistency. Keep in the fridge at least 1 hour wrapped in plastic wrap.
- Preheat the oven to 160 º C.
- Sprinkle the work surface with icing sugar. Roll out 1/3 of the dough with a rolling pin about 1 cm thick and cut into identical diamonds.
- Roll out the remaining part of the thickness of 2 cm and cut discs of about 5 cm in diameter helping you with a cup. Create a glaze recess in the center and decorate the edges with the tips of a fork.
- Reuse the leftover pasta and create sausages about a little finger thick and get small donuts.
- Lay the discs (traditionally called “marzapani” ), the diamonds (called “mostaccioli”) and the donuts ( called “canestrelletti”) on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 10 minutes (just to cook the egg white). Let them cool.
- Combine the diamonds in pairs with a veil of fig jam.
- Brush the donuts with a little sugar syrup (it is done by melting on the fire 2 tablespoons of sugar in 1 tablespoon of water) and decorate them with white funfetti.
- Prepare the icing. Mix the sugar with the egg white and lemon juice with a wisk Then add water few drops a time to obtain the right consistency (liquid but dense enough).
- Divide the in equal parts and color with t food colors.
- Pour the icing into the marzipan center and decorate with colored funfetti.
In one of my preparation, I have also colored the dough with different colors and shaped small eggs, which I then rolled in caster sugar and baked for 10 minutes (just the time to cook the egg white). My kids had so much fun preparing them and arguing on the colors to pick!!
A quick overview of other Ligurian dishes traditional at Easter you can find on the blog?
- As main course, Lamb with artichokes, lamb is a very ancient tradition…
- Also as main, the famous “Cima”, a bag made of meat stuffed with eggs, peas, prosciutto or ofals, pretending to be a big roast!
- Torta Pasqualina (Easter pie) is never missing, she is the queen of the Easter table. And then
- we finish the meal with Cavagnetti, small baskets of sweet pastry with the egg in the center.
Again, Happy Easter!
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