As you know, I love to rediscover traditional recipes from my little village in the south of Italy. Tarallini with Naspro are one of the many traditional Easter recipes. Very simple to make, but very tasty!
What is “Naspro”?Naspro is a sugar icing that gives these sweet donuts their traditional white color. In Cercemaggiore, Naspro Tarallini are made during the Easter period and used to accompany with their candor the brides dressed in white, celebrating their wedding day.
This simple icing, made with sugar and water, has been used for centuries to decorate Easter sweets in southern Italy. From Abruzzo to Calabria, the “taralli with naspro” take different forms, small and large, reaching the form of majestic donuts sprinkled with colored sugared almonds in Irpinia. In Calabria they are called “taralli delle Palme” - made on Palm Sunday, in Puglia “taralli al gileppo”, in Basilicata they are also popular for Carnival...
These are traditional sweets: on the outside they seem hard, well protected by the white sugary crust, but at the first bite they immediately show their yellow heart, tender and crumbly, made with fresh eggs and the ancient love of our grandmothers.
Whip the eggs with a pinch of salt and the seed oil and slowly add the flour, as much as the dough absorbs (the result should be soft and smooth but not sticky).
Knead on a pastry board and form the taralli. Bake at 200 degrees in a static oven until golden brown.
In the meantime, pour 1 tablespoon of water and 1 of sugar into a large saucepan for every 2 biscuits and bring to a boil, just enough for the syrup to acquire an oily consistency and stick to the spoon.
Bathe the warm taralli in the icing and mix quickly until the sugar solidifies around the biscuits and turns white. (Another method is to whip the cooked sugar with a whisk until it turns white and then add the taralli).
There are many variations for this recipe, which changes from town to town... my grandmother for example, instead of using an oven, used to cook them in a pan covering the lid with hot embers.
We can add vanilla and the grated peel of a lemon to the dough or a liqueur of your choice such as Anisette, Strega or Amaretto…