San Martino day: Biscotti di San Martino, sunshine, vino novello and frittelle.
Every year, on San Martino's day, Italians celebrate eating frittelle and enjoying the first taste of novello wine. In Sicily San Martinu is a very popular day and, like in the rest of Italy, each area prepares traditional sweets from Biscotti di San Martino in Palermo to crispeddi (special frittters) in the South-East of Sicily.
This year I decided to make pumpkin fritters, they were delicious. You can find my recipe on the Italy Magazine's website.
Here I decided to present one of the many recipes for Palermo's "Biscotti di San Martino":
500 gr flour
130 gr strutto (pork fat)
80 gr sugar
30 gr brewer's yeast or 2 teaspoons active dry yeast, dissolved in tepid water
20 gr fennel seeds
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp ground cloves
Place flour in a large bowl, make a mound of it, scoop a well in the middle, and add the water-yeast mixture, pork fat, sugar, fennel seeds, cinnamon and cloves. Then start mixing until the dough is smooth and elastic, like bread dough, and prepare 10 cm long cylindrical shapes to roll into a spiral as shown in the video below. The biscuits are done, place on a tray and set aside to rise, then bake in a pre-heated oven at 200C° for ten minutes, then for another 20 minutes at 160C°.
Dust with icing sugar and serve with moscato di Pantelleria. The final biscuits are dry first.
The video below shows you how the "Biscotti di San Martino" are made by the Pasticceria Scimone in Palermo: