The “Colomba di Pasqua” (Easter Dove) is a typical dessert that is prepared during the Holy Week or in general during the Easter period. Its origins are Lombard, but over time the recipes have spread throughout Italy and each region has customized them according to their culture.
In Puglia, for example, the Easter Dove is called “La Scarcella” and consists of a simple short pastry then seasoned with chocolate eggs, hard-boiled eggs, sugar icing or silver or multi-colored beads. Decorations vary from village to village. The shape is traditionally round, (since the circular shape symbolizes luck), but in reality today there are several versions of Scarcelle: in the shape of a dove, a basket, an Easter bunny and even stuffed.
According to tradition, the Scarcelle, usually are packaged with plastic sheets, closed with colored ribbons and given to friends and relatives at Easter.
However, returning to the traditional Easter Dove, the classic shape of … dove indeed, I will mention the recipe of a dear friend, Valeria Fiume.
Ingredients: • 3 eggs • 350gr of flour • 90gr of sunflower seed oil • 170gr of milk • 150/200 gr of sugar • the rind of an orange and a lemon • 1 ampoule of almond flavor • 1 sachet of yeast for pies • almonds and sugar granella to decorate • to taste you can add to the mixture raisins, candied orchocolate drops
First we separate egg whites and egg yolks in two bowls and whisk the egg whites. In another bowl add 150g of sugar to the egg yolks and whisk with a blender, then add the grated peel of an orange and a lemon, a vial of almond flavor, continue mixing and add 90gr of sunflower oil and 170 gr of milk. Mix again and begin to combine 350gr of flour little by little mixing carefully. So it’s time for baking powder, we use a pizzaiolo sachet in powder form and still blend well.
Now is the time to decide whether we prefer our dough for Easter Dove simple or we can enrich it with other tasty ingredients, such as candied fruit, raisins or chocolate chips. After this “arduous” decision we must add our egg whites previously whipped and mix gently.
The dough is ready, pour it into a dove-shaped mold and dedicate ourselves to garnish the surface. The classic dove requires granulated sugar and almonds. Bake at 180 degrees for 40 minutes.
Before serving, we wait for it to cool, dust it with a little icing sugar … and buon appetito!