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A Pugliese sweet with a beautiful story, the Dita degli Apostoli is an evocative dish, and very easy to repeat at home, to bring a bit of Puglia to your tables!

Where does our story begin?
In Italy many dishes of our tradition are born from two ingredients: tradition and faith. Just like what happened to the “Dita degli Apostoli”, a sweet dish of the Apulian peasant tradition, made of simple ingredients and an unconditional love for raw materials, a common denominator of all the dishes that are part of the tradition of this land!
The Apulian culinary tradition in itself is characterized by simplicity and very few ingredients, which does not detract from the goodness and pleasure you feel in tasting them. Although Puglia is best known for its savory dishes, which we were able to savor in the article “The” Broad beans: recipes and curiosities of the most loved legume in Italy “, sweets are no exception.
Le Dita degli Apostoli is one of those sweets.
Its realization is linked, as almost always happens in popular peasant culture, to the scanning of time and holidays. In this case it is the Easter period, the moment in which the Fingers of the Apostles make their debut on the Apulian tables.
In my family, this dessert was never lacking. And again it is prepared according to the original recipe handed down, not written but practiced.
The main ingredient is ricotta, the production of which was linked to the reproductive cycle of the animals, which is why it was traditional to start preparing this dessert from the spring period, after the lambs were weaned.

Another curiosity lies in the name, which is probably dictated by the shape like fingers, or rolls, which not coincidentally recalls the episode of the Gospel that recounts the episode of St. Thomas.

Fingers of the Apostles

Ingredients for 12 “fingers”

  • 300 g of sheep’s milk ricotta (if you want you can replace the sheep’s milk ricotta with that of buffalo)
  • 2 eggs
  • 50 g of sugar
  • cinnamon
  • 1 lemon (possibly untreated and preferably not very ripe)
  • chocolate flakes or chopped chocolate to be crushed
  • a few drops of liqueur, preferably citrus
  • olive oil to grease the pan

Process:

Work the eggs with a whisk. Take a pan with a small diameter, 12-14 cm
and heat it after having just greased it with a drop of oil (better to use a brush).

Pour in a spoonful of beaten eggs and rotate the pan to spread out
the egg, creating a very thin omelette that must be turned just golden, to make it
brown on the opposite side. The difficulty lies in being able to make a very thin omelette with just a spoonful of eggs. Remove the omelette and place it on absorbent paper. Proceed with the others until you run out of eggs. Meanwhile, work the ricotta with the sugar, the cinnamon powder, the grated lemon peel, the crushed chocolate and a few drops of the liqueur of your choice. If the dough is hard, add a few drops of water to make it creamy.
Holding the omelette in your hand, place a part of the kneaded ricotta and wrap in
like fingers, which will be placed on a serving dish, finally sprinkled with sugar
and cinnamon (icing sugar not recommended).

It is preferable to prepare the dessert a little in advance, perhaps keeping it in the fridge for a few hours, to enjoy it at its best.


Domenico Narducci

Domenico Narducci, nato in Puglia a Fasano (BR), precisamente nella frazione Pezze di Greco. Legatissimo alla sua terra, alle sue origini e ai vissuti d'infanzia, lascia trasparire questi aspetti in ogni momento e nelle cose che fa. Vive a Colleferro in provincia di Roma, ed è un ex insegnante di arte. Ora dirige la sezione Unitre (Università delle tre Età) di Paliano (FR). Attualmente all'interno dell'Unitre si occupa di promuovere corsi e manifestazioni on line, e della pubblicazione di un giornalino. Nella vita privata, oltre che fare il padre e il marito, dipinge, lavora l'argilla e ama stare ai fornelli.

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