Traditional recipes

Pignolata from Messina

Pignolata from Messina

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Pignolata Messina recipe of of 01-02-2020

There fussy Messina it is, as you will have understood, a sweet of Sicilian origin. The basic recipe is somewhat reminiscent of that of Neapolitan struffoli. The main difference, in fact, lies in the covering, which in the struffoli is based on honey while in the pignolata it is made with a glaze, partly with chocolate and partly with lemon. The final result is a real treat, for the eyes and for the palate. As always when it comes to regional recipes, I found various recipes on the net and I simply opted for the one that inspired me the most, but advice and suggestions from Sicilian friends are welcome;)


How to do the pignolata from Messina

Put the flour and sugar in a bowl, mix, then add the eggs, grappa, yolk, lemon peel and softened butter.
Knead until the dough is smooth and homogeneous, then cover with cling film and let it rest for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator.

Take the dough, rework it briefly to soften it a little, then form long cylinders, about 1 cm in diameter, and cut them into pieces of about 2 cm.

Fry the pieces of dough in already hot oil, not too many at a time so that they do not stick together and stirring occasionally to brown them evenly.
As they are ready, drain them with a slotted spoon and let them dry on kitchen paper, then let them cool.

Meanwhile, prepare the two glazes.
For the lemon glaze: whip the egg white with sugar and lemon juice until the mixture is fluid.
For the chocolate glaze: Break up the chocolate and melt it in a double boiler or in the microwave.

At this point, dip half of the struffoli in the lemon glaze and the other half in the chocolate one, mixing both (separately) to distribute them evenly.

The messinese pignolata is ready, you just have to arrange the two compounds on a serving plate, side by side, let the icing set for half an hour in the fridge and serve it.

History and origins

Originally the pignolata was a dessert prepared in the strait area, between Messina and Reggio Calabria, only during the Carnival period. It was made with poor ingredients of the peasant tradition such as eggs, flour and lard and its name referred to the shape that the cake took at the end of preparation: it resembled a pile of pine cones. Usually this fried sweet pastry was covered with honey. When the Spaniards took over from the Aragonese in the dominion of Sicily, in 1516, the nobles of Spain greatly appreciated the pignolata but, since they considered it a sweet for the poor, they asked the messinese confectioners to replace the honey with a chocolate and lemon glaze, which has come up to date. The glazed pignolata was recognized by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, which included it in the Sicilian list of the P.A.T. (Traditional Italian Needle Food Products)

Pignolata Messina - Recipes

-300 g flour
- 30 g of butter t.a.
- 4 tablespoons of sugar
- the grated rind of a large lemon (or two small ones)
- one whole egg + two yolks
- a cup of milk
- half a sachet of yeast
- two tablespoons of vermouth
- oil or lard for frying

For the lemon glaze:
- 1 egg white
- 150 g of powdered sugar
- juice of one large lemon
- a spoonful of vermouth

For the chocolate glaze:
- 200 g of dark chocolate
- 15 tablespoons of water
- 120 g of powdered sugar

Place the flour on a pastry board, place all the ingredients inside and knead. When the dough is compact, let it rest for 20-30 minutes. Shape into sticks and cut into small pieces obliquely. Then I also went over them with my fingers as if they were gnocchi, to lengthen them and because it gave me the impression that they cooked better. Fry in hot oil or lard.

Prepare the lemon glaze by whipping the egg white until stiff. Gradually add all the icing sugar, lemon juice and vermouth. It must be a fairly creamy mixture.

Prepare the chocolate glaze by melting the low kelp chocolate with 5 tablespoons of water, add the icing sugar and the remaining water.

Dip half of the balls in the lemon glaze and the other half in the chocolate one. Arrange on a plate or container and let everything solidify for a few hours in the fridge or simply in a cool place.

Ingredients for the pignolata from Messina

Put the flour in a bowl. In the center put eggs, butter, sugar, lemon peel and limoncello.

Work until you get a homogeneous mixture. Wrap in plastic wrap and let it rest in the fridge for half an hour.

On a lightly floured surface, form sausages about one cm thick.

Cut some pieces of dough.

Remove the excess flour and fry in plenty of hot seed oil. Lift them, let the excess oil dry and let it cool.

Prepare the white icing by placing the egg white in a bowl and starting to whip.

After about a minute, start adding the icing sugar, always working with the whisk.

Add the lemon juice.

Dive in half of the treats.

Melt the chocolate with the butter in a bain-marie.

Dip in the remaining treats.

Take a serving dish and place the sweets with the white icing on one side

and on the other side those with chocolate. Let the glazes dry for an hour and the pignolata from Messina is ready.

The Sicilian pignolata and its variants

The dessert includes numerous variations that make it noticeably different from area to area. One of these wants the pignolata balls not to be fried but cooked in the oven. As you can well guess, what benefits the waistline is detrimental to taste. Personally I have never tried the fussy in the oven but I imagine a decidedly less crunchy and softer result.

Another version wants the pieces of dough to be glazed rather than covered with honey, drowned partly in a pour of white chocolate flavored with lemon and partly in a chocolate glaze. It is the famous pignolata from Messina (which I hope to do soon) characterized by this classic two-tone combination.

Did you like this recipe? Then take a look also at & # 8220Chiacchiere & # 8221 and to stay updated on new recipes and initiatives put a nice LIKE on the Fornelli di Sicilia facebook page

Note: recipe published in February 2018 and updated in October 2020

Mari's cuisine

Typical dessert prepared for the carnival party. This type of pignolata is from Messina, different from the Calabrian one which is immersed in honey.
Calories? Tantissimeeeee for both recipes.
For pasta:
300 grams of flour
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
20 gr of butter
30 grams of sugar
2 tablespoons of grappa
1 lemon
For the lemon glaze
150 powdered sugar
1 egg white
1 tablespoon of limoncello
1 lemon
For the chocolate glaze:
200 gr of dark log
150 grams of powdered sugar
30 ml. of hot water.

Form the dough by mixing all the ingredients. Work quickly, a soft pastry comes out. Wrap in cling film and leave it to rest for 1 hour in the fridge.
Divide the dough and form into thin rolls. Cut into small pieces, like gnocchi. Keep in mind that in the oven they double in volume.
Arrange them on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 180 & # 176 oven for 10 minutes. They just have to brown on the surface. Let it cool down well.

  • Note how Pignolata Messinese, belongs to the Sicilian tradition.
  • These are small pieces of dough, the & # 8220pigne & # 8221 which are fried (or baked) and covered with a double glaze.
  • Here is the story of this Sicilian sweet typical of winter and of Carnival.

Pignolata Messinese, Pignolata Glazed or just Pignolata: whatever you want to call it, its goodness doesn't change. It is a much loved sweet, traditionally linked to two holidays (i.e. Christmas and Carnival), but which is prepared throughout the year. It always happens like this, with the best Sicilian recipes: they become so popular that they don't know seasons. The Sicilian Pignolata differs from the classic pickled with honey, as it is a decidedly richer version. The history of this dessert is very interesting. To tell it, we must take a small step back, going back to the times of Spanish domination. It was then, in fact, that the previous one was reworked on commission of some noble families recipe, more & # 8220 poor & # 8221. So the honey coating was replaced with the lemon and cocoa flavored glaze. Since then, the Pignolata Glassata has spread throughout the Strait area. It is also prepared in Calabria, with a glazed version with bergamot.

What is the Pignolata Glassata?

La Pignolata is made up of pieces of dough, which come fried (if you want you can do it in the oven) and covered with a double icing: white or chocolate. The chunks, called & # 8220pigne & # 8221, are arranged to form a rectangular and two-colored mound. Preparing it at home is really simple, so below with the recipe!

The recipe of Sicilian Pignolata

300 g of flour 00
3 eggs
20 g of butter
20 g of sugar
300 g of powdered sugar
2 tablespoons of grappa
1 lemon
200 g of dark chocolate
Peanut oil

Place 1 cup of the flour on a wooden mixing board. Form the flour into a small volcano shape and break the eggs into the center, one at a time. Add the salt and knead together gently, using your hands.

Gradually add enough of the remaining flour to make a medium-soft, easily molded dough.

Knead the dough until smooth, then divide it in half.

Roll out half of the dough on a lightly floured board into a circular piece about 1/4-inch thick. Cut the dough into strips about 1/4-inch wide. Roll each strip gently between your palms to form a small rope, then cut 1/4-inch long pieces from the rope. Each cut piece of dough should be about the size of a small marble. Distribute the pieces on a lightly floured board. Repeat with the remaining half of the dough.

Heat the oil in a deep-sided pot. When very hot, gradually add a few dough pieces and fry in batches, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Brown lightly for 1 to 2 minutes then remove the fried dough balls from the oil with a perforated spoon or wire-mesh skimmer and drain them on a paper-towel-lined plate or tray.

Mix the sugar and honey in a deep, wide skillet and heat over a low flame, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes, or until the sugar has completely dissolved. When very smooth, add the fried dough pieces, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until the dough is evenly covered in honey. Remove quickly and arrange on a large platter in a ring or in small clusters, using a spoon to mold the bits together. Sprinkle with pine nuts and candy confetti. Let cool.

Serve by breaking off individual pieces with a fork. Pignolata keeps fresh for 2 weeks when stored in an air-tight container.

Break the egg into a bowl, add the sugar and a pinch of salt. We grate orange and lemon. We add the seed oil, and the anise liqueur. Finally, add the flour.

We continue to knead and mix the ingredients, when the dough is solid we pass on the work surface.

The dough is ready when it no longer sticks to your fingers.

Let's pick up the dough again and work a little more with our hands. We roll out with a rolling pin to have a sheet about half a centimeter thick. We cut the dough into strips with a knife and with each of them we form a loaf by rolling it with our hands on the table. Then we cut into small pieces, trying to keep them all the same size which must be about 1 centimeter. Here are our struffoli.

In a pan we prepare the oil for frying, when it is ready we pour the struffoli a few at a time and let it brown well, stirring.

Drain them on absorbent paper. Once fried we can all make the cover.

In a saucepan, melt the honey with the sugar, then pour the struffoli, mix well, then add the almonds and knead. We arrange on a plate.

To give the dome shape, let's help ourselves with half a lemon, pushing slightly to give the shape, in this way they do not stick to the fingers or the spoon and are slightly flavored. Now let's add the final touch: the colorful sprinkles! Here is a very easy and colorful carnival cake!

We cut into slices and taste immediately!

Try this struffoli recipe yourself and let me know if you liked them!

Video: Pignolata Messinese Sicilian carnival goodness (June 2022).