Cartellate al vincotto (Italian Christmas fritters)

Cartellate al vincotto (Italian Christmas fritters)

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About this recipe: Cartellate are typical Christmas fritters from southern Italy. A simple dough, made with flour, olive oil, white wine and - my personal touch - some rum, rolled out and shaped as little roses. The tradition wants them soaked in vincotto, a very sweet cooked wine similar to a syrup, but you can glaze them with honey or melted chocolate or simply dust with icing sugar.


Serves: 6 

  • 500g plain flour
  • 100g extra virgin olive oil
  • 50ml rum
  • 100ml white wine, or as needed
  • 1 pinch salt
  • olive or vegetable oil for deep frying
  • vincotto, as needed to glaze

Prep:20min  ›  Cook:20min  ›  Ready in:40min 

  1. Place the flour on a work surface or in a large bowl. Fold in the 100g olive oil and mix well, then add the rum, white wine and salt. Start kneading with your hands to create a smooth and soft dough. Add more wine if too stiff and dry. Cover with a clean cloth and let rest for about 20 minutes.
  2. Roll out the dough to about 5mm thick. With a fluted pastry wheel, cut some strips, about 15cm long and 3cm wide. Fold the strips in half and pinch to seal the ends together. Then pinch and seal in 3 points along the length. With the fluted edge up, crumple gently up the strip on itself and pinch in many points to make the shape of a small rose. Cartellate means in fact "crumpled up". Repeat with remaining dough.
  3. Heat the oil in a deep pan until hot. Deep fry the little roses, few at the time, until golden brown. Be careful to keep the fitters in shape. Remove with a slotted spoon and let dry on kitchen paper.
  4. Warm up the vincotto in a saucepan and carefully add one fritter at the time. Cook for a few seconds, then flip and repeat: The fritters will just need to soak a bit in the vincotto. Transfer on kitchen paper and dust with icing sugar or confetti, if you like.

Baked cartellate

For a lighter alternative, bake the cartellate on preheated oven to 180 C / Gas 4 for 15 to 20 minutes. If you don't find vincotto, glaze with port, honey or melted chocolate.

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