Purcidduzzi – Traditional Festive Treats
Purcidduzzi is a very popular sweet treat and is enjoyed by many Italian families around Christmas, and well into the New Year. Traditionally, the last sweet treat is eaten on 17th January, in celebration of Sant’Antonio Abate, who is depicted with a pig bedside him. That is why, locally, these small elongated balls are known as ‘little pigs’. The recipe originated in the Salento region, in particular, the Province of Leece.
A lovely Italian friend of mine, shared her recipe with me, and I’d like to share it with you! They are simple to make and taste delicious, so why not give them a go!
1 kg Flour
40 g Yeast
2 tbsp Olive oil
6 tbsp White wine
Juice and zest of one orange
Oil for deep frying
Cinnamon stick (or powder)
Hundreds and thousands
First, bring the yeast back to life by adding enough warm water to create a paste.
Next, combine the flour, olive oil, white wine, juice and zest of an orange, zest of a lemon, pinch salt, and yeast mixture. Knead everything together until the dough is soft and pliable.
Cover the dough and leave to rise for at least three hours, then knead again.
Divide the dough into several balls and start to roll the dough out so that it resembles breadsticks, approximately 1 centimetre in diameter. Cut the dough into bite size long balls and let them rest for an hour or so.
Heat the oil and fry the ‘little pigs’ until they are golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen towel.
Meanwhile, gently warm the honey over a low heat and add a cinnamon stick (or cinnamon powder) and the zest of a lemon.
Place the fried dough on a plate; I like to pile them high into a pyramid shape. Remove the cinnamon stick and drizzle the honey generously over the balls, dust with cinnamon (optional), icing sugar, and top with hundreds and thousands. Enjoy!