S: Pascuzzo Family Holiday Recipes
FC: Pascuzzo Family Holiday Recipes
1: This collection of recipes represents the story of our family - with roots in Calabria but limbs and branches grown in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. These recipes are based on those carried in the hearts and minds of our immigrant ancestors and have been adapted to fit the ingredients available locally throughout the years. These are the recipes as we know them and love them now in the year 2013. Please note that all baking temperatures are 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2: Pitta Mpigliata A quintessentially Calabrese treat for the Christmas season, Pitta is crispy, gooey and filled with everything nice! For the Dough: 5 lbs of Flour 8 Eggs 1 1/2 "handfuls" of salt (about 1/8 cup) 1/2 cup of oil 1/2 cup of sugar 1 cake of yeast (dissolved in warm water with a little sugar) 2 Tablespoons whiskey For the Filling: 4 lbs of walnuts, chopped 3 boxes of raisins 1 bottle of honey Cinnamon Sugar for sprinkling Mix the raisins and the nuts and set aside. Place flour in a bowl on the table and make a well. Place the other ingredients in the center of the well and whisk together with a fork, slowly incorporating the flour. Work and knead the dough, adding warm water as needed. The dough will be sticky at first. If necessary, toward the end of kneading, sprinkle the table with flour. Roll out very thin strips of dough, 3 inches wide. Use a pastry cutter to make a scalloped edge. Rub with oil, sprinkle with sugar, and add a line of honey. Sprinkle with cinnamon and add raisins and nut mixture. Fold the edges in to make a long rope roll into a rose and place on a base of rolled out dough. Bake until golden brown. You can also arrange several roses together to make a larger flower.
4: Beer Cookies Sweet and flavorful, these cookies never disappoint. 4 egg yolks, beaten 6 oz of beer 1/2 tsp. of salt 3 cups (approx.) of flour Put flour onto table and make a well. Create space in the center of the flour, add remaining ingredients into the well, and slowly work in the flour. Roll out the dough to about 1/8 inch thick. Cut into squares. Cut a slit into the center of each square. Fold one corner over and tuck it into the slit. Then fold other corner in and press. Fry in oil until brown and cover with powdered sugar.
6: Grispelle (Christmas Donuts) A crowd favorite at the Holiday table, these fluffy yet dense donuts are fantastic dipped in granulated sugar. 10 lbs of flour 10 eggs 3/4 cups of sugar 1/2 cup of oil 1 cake of yeast dissolved in 2 cups of warm water 2 additional cups of warm water 1 Full "handful" of salt (about 1/4 cup) Mix flour, eggs, sugar, yeast and water mixture, and salt. Add additional water as needed. Knead until dough is soft and well mixed. Then add oil and work it in. Remember, "oil to clean pan, water to get soft, flour to firm" Let dough rise for 2 hours. Shape the dough into a rope, cross the ends, and press firmly to seal. Fry grispelle, and coat in granulated sugar.
8: Struffoli These little gems really brighten up the Christmas table and are perfect for just a small bite. For the dough: 4 egg yolks 1 pinch of salt 4 tsp rum or whiskey 2 cups (approx.) of flour For the coating: Honey Water Sugar Place the honey, water and sugar into a pot and bring to a boil. Set aside. Mix all ingredients for the dough. Roll dough into long ropes and then slice into small squares. This process is similar to making gnocchi. Fry the squares in oil until golden brown. Place the struffoli into warm honey mixture and coat. Finish with sprinkles.
10: Scalille Rich and sweet. These are great dunked in coffee! Puna! Puna! 20 eggs (save about 3 egg whites for icing) 1 tsp. of baking powder 3 Tbs. of oil 1 1/2 Tbs. of salt 1 "full scoop" of sugar (1/4 cup?) 11 cups of flour (you can add more if needed) Mix together all ingredients. Roll out dough into a rope about 12 inches long. Place the end of the rope on the tip of the wooden spoon. wrap the rope around the handle twice and the bring the rope back up to the tip of the spoon. Press firmly to seal the dough. Then, bring the rope down the other side of the handle, the length of the winded dough. Press rope into the end of the dough. Cut off the rest of the rope. Remove gently. Fry until golden brown. Coat in icing or in honey.
12: Pizzelle This classic needs no explanation. Fun to make and fun to eat! 4 eggs 1/2 cup of sugar (plus a little more) 1 tsp. of anise flavor 1 tsp. of vanilla 1/2 tsp. of salt 1/4 lb butter, melted 3 cups of flour Mix ingredients. Roll out 1 inch balls of dough. Press into iron, and cook according to iron directions..
14: "Biscotti" A cookie for everyone to love. They are simple yet rich, soft yet dense. We usually see these cut out into flowers, half moons, spades and clubs, but any shape will do! 3 cups of flour 2 tsp. of baking powder 1 stick of butter 1/2 cup sugar 2 eggs 1/4 cup milk vanilla egg wash sprinkles Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs. Then add dry ingredients. Mix until blended. Roll out dough to 1/4 inch thick. Cut with cookie cutters. Brush tops with egg wash, add sprinkles, and bake. The cookies will be pale but firm with a golden bottom.
16: Cannoli A traditional Neapolitan dolce, cannoli are brought to us through Naples' tied history with Calabria. Cannoli are traditionally filled with a cream or ricotta filling. Our family's tradition is to serve cannoli on New Year's eve, filled with chocolate and vanilla puddings. 4 cups of flour 5 large eggs or 6 medium eggs 2 Tbs. of vinegar 1 tsp. of salt 1 Tbs of sugar 2 Tbs. of lard (or crisco), melted. Egg wash Place the flour in a bowl and make a well. Add the remaining ingredients and work together. Roll the dough thinly. Cut the dough into squares. Place a clothes pin in the center of the square diagonally. Fold the corners over the the clothes pin and seal with egg wash. Fry until golden brown. Let cool before filling.
18: Easter Bread This enriched bread is served on Easter in celebration of Christ's rising and the end of the Lenten fast. It is full of rich ingredients like sugar and eggs that were traditionally avoided during Lent. The bread also serves decorative purposes with elegant braids and baked in eggs (not pictured). 10 lbs of flour 1 cake of yeast 13 eggs 1 cup scalded milk 1/2 cup of butter 1/2 cup Crisco 3 cups sugar 1/8 cup salt Warm water as needed Put flour in pan and make a well. Add eggs and slightly beat. Scald the milk and place in refrigerator to cool, so it will not cook the eggs. Proof yeast and add to the mix. Melt butter and Crisco together and add to the mix. Add sugar and salt. Mix everything together, adding warm water a little at a time, as much as needed to make the dough. Mix about 15 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic. Separate the dough into halves and allow each half to raise in a separate pans. Raise two hours. Make ropes of dough and braid as desired. Place raw, whole eggs, dyed or natural, as decoration. Raise again until the bread reaches desired size. Cover the dough in egg wash. Bake until golden brown.
20: Frisini, An everyday treat. 5 lbs of flour 6 eggs, beaten handful of salt 1/2 cup of sugar 1/2 cup melted lard or oil - save a little to work dough 1/2 cake dissolved yeast 1 tsp. of anise seed 3 saucepans (approx.) of warm water Mix togerther. Keep adding water and mix until dough falls off hands. Add flour to clean dish. Let raise for 2 hours. Roll out dough into ropes about 12 inches long and pinch the ends together. Let raise again. Bake until half done. Slice in half, like a bagel, and return them to the oven to brown. Chinulille, Christmas cookies filled with nuts and raisins. 6 eggs 1/2 cup melted oil 4 cups of flour or more 1 tsp. of salt 2 Tbs. of sugar 2 Tbs. of vinegar Honey and Water mixture (see struffoli) For filling: honey, raisins, nuts , sugar (see pitta) Mix dough. Roll out to 1/8 inch thick. Cut out circles. On each circle add raisins, nuts, and a drop of honey. Fold over and press ends with a fork. Fry in oil. Drop in honey and water mixture and fry again.