... and I'm still recovering. The Haas tornado whipped through the home in the afternoon and we certainly made merry. Now, today - too many chocolate eggs and cannolis later - I feel a biscotti and a cafe are in order - only the biscottis are gone. I sent Easter sweets - including three types of dessert up to Collegeville - with my son today. This is to ensure that I do not make too many trips to the refrigerator this week.
Now, my mother's Wheat Pie is another story. The Pizza du Grane remains in the fridge - carefully hidden by Kirsten. It is my daughter's favorite dessert and she guards it as a She-Bear guards her cub. It somehow did not make it to the dessert buffet table yesterday! In fact, when my husband peeked into the fridge yesterday and exclaimed, "Oh no - we forgot to put out the Easter Wheat Pie" and indeed - started to actually take it out - my daughter rushed into the kitchen, grabbed the pie from his hands and carefully sneaked it back in- and covered with "stuff." More on that tomorrow. Happily, there were at least 8 desserts on the table. It was not missed. Really.
As I bemoan the loss of my biscottis which disappeared quickly, I am cheered by the knowledge that I have the recipe and the ingredients! And now you will, too.
From: Sweet Sicily: A Story of an Island and Her Pastries by Victoria Granof
8 T unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup milk
Grated zest of 1 lemon
2-1/2 cup flour
2 t baking powder
3/4 cup sesame seeds
In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until just combined. Beat in the yolks, milk and zest. (The mixture will seem curdled and that is fine) Sift the flour with the baking powder and stir into the butter mixture. Mix until the dough comes together in ball. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour or up to 1 day (being a lazybones I always refrigerate overnight). It makes the dough easier to handle.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease two large baking sheets.
Ms. Granof has you rinse the sesame seeds in a fine mesh strainer and dry. I did not do that. I did turn them out in a shallow baking pan.
Divide dough into eight equal parts. Shape each one into a ball and then roll each ball with the palm of your hands on a lightly floured ball into a rope about 8 inches long. With a sharp knife, cut each rope into 4 pieces. Roll each piece in the sesame seeds and place 2 inches apart on the greased baking sheet. (I needed to brush them with milk so that the sesame seeds would adhere.)
Bake for 20-25 minutes until browned. Let cool for five minutes and then place on baking racks.
I probably ate 2 piping hot! Sweet Sicily is a sumptuous book - containing mouth-watering photos and some history behind each of the pastries and the various cultures that have influenced Sicilian desserts. I may need to write a play about a dessert. And it won't be a drama! Happy Easter Monday, all!