Cartellate al Vino Cotto – Spiral Pastries with Vino Cotto
These fried pastries are light, crunchy and seriously addictive. Known as ‘cartellate’ in Italian, ‘carta’ meaning paper thin, these Christmas sweets originate from Puglia and traditionally they are dunk in warm Vino cotto and scattered with crushed walnuts, so within each pocket of the spiral sits the warm vino cotto. Seriously delicious, but oh so sweet!
The pastries can be made into different shapes such as bow ties.
450gm (3 cups) plain flour
2 tbsp finely grated orange rind or lemon rind
1 tsp baking powder
80ml (1/3 cup) olive oil
80ml (1/3 cup) sweet white wine
60ml (1/4 cup) liquor (Marsala, Strega, rum or grappa)
light olive oil for deep frying
¼ cup Vino Cotto, drizzle
¼ cup Honey, drizzle
Dark chocolate, coarsely chopped, optional
Walnuts, optional (or any nuts of your choice)
Place sifted flour and baking powder into a bowl or work surface.
Add rinds and mix through.
In a separate bowl add the oil, white wine and liquor.
Make a well in the center of the flour, add in the liquid ingredients and stir with a fork to combine. Knead until smooth. Add a bit of wine to help with kneading if the dough feels too dry. Knead for 8-10minutes. Cover with kitchen wrap or tea towel and leave to rest for an hour at room temperature.
Cut dough into 10 pieces.
Keep dough covered as you work on individual pieces.
Lightly flour the work surface.
If using a pasta machine: Roll out each piece to 5mm thick. Feed one piece at a time into a pasta machine keeping rollers at wide setting. Fold in half lengthways and repeat feeding through the machine for at least 4-5 times and each time reduce the settings until dough is 2mm thick or paper-thin. Dust the dough lightly with flour each time you feed thru the rollers to prevent sticking. Repeat with remaining dough pieces.
Trim ends of each pastry evenly and lightly dust with flour. Using a fluted pastry roller cut into long ribbons 3cm wide. Fold each ribbon in half lengthwise and press to seal at 5cm intervals to form small pockets. You may need to dab with a little water to help pastry stick.
Roll into loose spirals resembling a rose and pinch ends to seal.
Repeat with remaining ribbons.
Heat oil in a deep pan or use a deep fryer, cook pastries 2-3 at a time for only 1-2 minutes or until light golden and remove using a slotted spoon and drain on absorbent paper placing them upside down to release any excess oil.
To serve, pile spirals on a plate. Heat Vino Cotto and honey in a small saucepan over a low-medium heat until warmed through (3-4minutes) and drizzle on the pastries and sprinkle pockets with crushed walnuts or chocolate.
Option – Pastries can be baked at 170C degree for 10-12minutes instead of frying until golden and crisp.