Carteddate al Miele

Fried Honey Wheels from Bari

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Preparation info

  • Makes

    24

    pastries
    • Difficulty

      Medium

Appears in

Great Italian Desserts

By Nick Malgieri

Published 1990

  • About

These spirals of fried pastry are mostly a vehicle to hold honey or Vino Cotto. Popular in Apulia as well as in Calabria, the carteddate are one of the pastries I remember my grandmother preparing in my early childhood.

This recipe comes from Paola Pettini, a native of Rome, who now makes her home in Bari. Signora Pettini generously shared the recipes for many Barese and Apulian specialties with me.

Ingredients

    Dough

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • Grated zest of 1 orange
  • Grated zest of 1 tangerine, if available
  • cup mild olive oil or vegetable oil
  • cup white wine
  • 3 tablespoons sweet liqueur, such as anisette or Strega
  • quarts light or pure olive oil or vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 cup honey or Vino Cotto
  • 2 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely grated

Method

For the dough, mix the flour, baking powder, salt, and grated zests in a bowl. Combine the oil, wine, and liqueur and stir into the flour mixture to form a stiff, dry dough. Knead the dough on a work surface to make it as smooth as possible. Wrap the dough in plastic and let rest at room temperature for 1 hour.

Pound the dough gently with a rolling pin until it is about ¼ inch thick. Flour the dough lightly and pass it through a pasta machine, beginning with the widest setting. Pass it through the next setting, then the next, and divide the dough into 6 pieces. Pass each piece through the machine on the next settings, ending with the thinnest.

With a serrated pastry wheel, trim the long edges of one of the strips to scallop them, then divide into 4 narrow ribbons, about inches wide. Fold the ribbons lengthwise so that they are about ¾ inch wide, as in the illustration. Pinch the cut edges together every 2 inches. Then, with the fold on the bottom, roll up the ribbon of dough into a concentric spiral, not too tightly. Repeat with the other 3 ribbons, then with the other 5 strips.

Arrange the carteddate on generously oiled pans and let them dry at room temperature about 4 hours, so that they do not come apart while frying.

Heat the oil to 350 degrees and fry the carteddate 3 or 4 at a time, making sure that you remove them from the oil folded side up; this way they will not trap a large quantity of oil. Drain them on pans lined with paper towels, folded side up, allowing any excess oil to drain off.

After all the carteddate are fried, arrange them on a pan, folded side down. Heat the honey in a pan until it is hot and liquid. Spoon the honey over the carteddate, making sure it enters the folded areas. Cool and sprinkle with the grated chocolate.

Variations

The traditional Barese recipe entails bringing a quart of honey to a boil and immersing the carteddate in it. If you prefer them sweeter, by all means try this method.

To flavor the carteddate with vino cotto instead of honey, bring 3 cups of vino cotto to a boil, then immerse the carteddate, a few at a time, in the hot vino cotto. Transfer to a pan to cool and drain; sprinkle with the colored sugar granules called diavolilli or diavoletti, known in English as nonpareils (see Sources of Equipment and Ingredients).