These biscuits are a traditional goodness from Ceglie Messapica, a small town in Itria Valley (Upper Salento) – Puglia – Southern Italy. In recent years, its elegant downtown, its amazing countryside (filled with farmlands, olive groves, medieval castles, vineyards, almond trees and trulli) and its food, made with simple and tasty ingredients, have attracted people not only from all over Italy but also from all over the world.
Ceglie biscuits, Slow food Presidium, are made only with products from the territory: almonds, cherry or grape jam, rosolio (homemade liqueur), lemon. If you wish to have a taste of the original ones and you find yourself in Ceglie Massapica, go and visit one of these bakeries: “Forno Allegrini“, “da Gigliola” or “Caffé Pasticceria centrale“.
If you live, just like us, far from Apulia, bake them by yourself following our recipe and you will get an initial idea on how delicious they are!
INGREDIENTS for ∼ 15-20 pieces:
500 g peeled almonds
250 g granulated sugar
1 lemon zest
cherry or grape jam
Preheat the oven at 180 °C.
Toast 250 g almonds for few minutes in the oven (at 180 °C). Then ground the toasted almonds together with the rest of the almonds, but not too finely.
On a marble, or steel, surface knead the grounded almonds with sugar, lemon zest and eggs. When the dough has the right consistency (it has to be sticky), cut it into stripes, 12 cm wide and 30 cm long, and 1 cm thick. Spread the cherry jam along the longest side and fold the opposite side over. Then roll the stripe up to make it longer and thiner.
Cut the stripes into ∼ 4 cm small cubes, as seen in the picture below.
Bake in the oven at 180 ºC for about 15-20 minutes.