Happy Easter

Easter Menu: Italian Desserts: Traditional Zabaglione, Pandiramerino And Colomba Pasquale Recipes

Colomba Pasquale (Easter Dove) is an Italian sweet bread baked in the shape of a Dove (Colomba) and served during Easter. It contains candied peel and is topped with sugar and almonds. Zabaglione (Marsala Eggnog) is a scrumptious cream which can be enjoyed as is or used to fill a Colomba. Bakers used to set up stalls and sell Pandiramerino (Rosemary Buns) to church-goers on their way home from Easter Mass. The bun represents Jesus, and the rosemary stands for the scented oils used to cleanse His body before burying Him.

Zabaglione

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 4 tbsp Marsala wine (substitutes: brandy or other sweet wine)
  • Cinnamon and grated lemon rind (optional)

Warm the egg yolks and the sugar in a double boiler over low heat, then whip them with a wire whisk. Cinnamon and grated lemon rind may be added at this point. Pour in Marsala, drop by drop, and keep beating. The mixture will begin to foam and swell into a light soft cream. Be careful not to overcook or it will collapse. Serve with shortbread biscuits or sponge fingers.

Pandiramerino

  • 6½ cups plain flour
  • ¼ cup fresh baker’s yeast (or 5 tbsp active dry yeast)
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups seedless raisins (or sultanas)
  • 1 branch of fresh rosemary, washed and dried
  • 1 egg

Make a soft dough with the flour, yeast and sugar, binding with lukewarm water. Cover and leave to rise until doubled in volume. Put on a pastry board and add the raisins, oil and rosemary needles. Knead the dough for a few minutes and form a quantity of dome-shaped buns, brushing the surface with beaten egg. With a sharp knife, slash a cross on top of each bun and bake at 425F for about 30′ until the buns havee a nice, even, brown crust.

Colomba Pasquale

  • 1 oz. baker’s yeast
  • 1 lb flour
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 5 oz conjectionary sugar
  • 1 tbsp grated lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • salt
  • 3 oz milk
  • 4 oz candied lemon and orange rinds (diced)
  • 3 oz peeled almonds
  • 7 oz butter

Dissolve the crumbled yeast in some warm water and mix it with 2 oz. of flour. Make a rather solid dough and cut a cross on the top. Roll the dough in flour and put it into a bowl with 1 cup warm water for half an hour. Turn the dough occasionally when it floats to the surface. Knead the remaining flour separately with 5 egg yolks, 4 oz softened butter, the sugar, the lemon zest, a pinch of salt and 3 oz warm milk. Add the yeasted dough and knead for 20 mins. until the dough is smooth and rather compact. Let the dough rise in a warm place until increased by a third in volume. Knead the dough once again, adding half of the remaining softened butter in pieces. Put the dough back in the bowl to rise until doubled in volume. Put the dough on the pastry board once again and knead in the remaining butter and the candied peel. Shape the dough into the form of a dove, or put it in a dove shaped mold, and let rise for half an hour. Brush the dough with the remaining egg yolk, distribute the almonds over the surface, pressing them in slightly, and then sprinkle with the granulated sugar crystals. Bake for 15 minutes in preheated 375 F. oven then lower the heat to 325 F. and cook for another 20 minutes.

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