In Italy, many festivities are made special by food and during Easter the variety of traditional dishes throughout the nation is abundant. In every region, the family table becomes a feast of flavours and colours where ingredients are used masterfully to create iconic pieces of culinary art. Eggs are undoubtedly one of the most recognizable emblems of the Easter tradition in many countries; they are often used as a symbol of the rebirth of spring and the Resurrection and other than the playful and iconic chocolate ones, many traditional Italian recipes include them. In Apulia for example is not Easter without Scarcelle Pugliesi (Apulian Scarcelle). Large lemon-flavoured shortcrust biscuits, the pastry is worked in thick braids, which are then closed around a hard-boiled egg, to form a nest. More recently they are also found in animal forms, such as bunnies or small doves and are covered with icing and sugars.
PER I BISCOTTI (for the cookies)
- 500 gr of flour
- 150 gr of sugar
- 100 gr of milk
- 100 gr of seed oil
- 1 egg
- 8 gr of yeast
- lemon peel to taste
PER LA DECORATIONE (for decoration)
- 125 gr of icing sugar
- 25 gr of albums
- 4 eggs
- lemon juice and sugar to taste
- Put the eggs to “harden” in boiling water for 5 minutes, later they will finish cooking in the oven.
- Put the flour, sugar and yeast in a bowl. Beat the eggs with the milk and oil in a separate bowl.
- Pour the liquids into the flour bowl, add the lemon zest.
- Knead until the dough is you soft and uniform.
- Divide the dough into 4 parts, obtain 3 cords from each and intertwine them to form a braid, which you will then close into a nest, you can also make a sheet of pasta from which you can cut out bunny and dove shapes.
- Place an egg in the centre of each nest or the animal shape. Bake in a the oven at 180°c for about 45-50 minutes.
- Meanwhile, mix the egg white with the icing sugar and the drops of lemon juice, to obtaine a clear and full-bodied icing mixture.
- When they have cooled off, spread the icing and sugar.
- Let the Scarcelle cool a little more, so that the glaze solidifies.