Tortelli di Natale al Forno o Fritti – How to Make it

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tortelli di nataleChristmas Tortelli Baked in the Oven or Fried

Christmas is a magical time of year, especially throughout Italy. That is because all our culinary traditions are combined with the good tastes of Christmas, in newer ways year after year.

This time, I came across a very old recipe from a place really close to Tuscany, the areas of Modena and Reggio Emilia, right down the Appennino Tosco-Emiliano: tortelli di Natale. These sweets are a filled pastry that will suit your palate during Christmas time.



For the dough

500 g of flour

150 g of sugar

50 g of butter

1 small bag of baking powder

2 eggs

1 small glass of Sassolino liqueur

For the custard

6 level tablespoons of flour

6 heaped tablespoons of sugar

6 yolks

half a litre of milk

lemon zest or vanilla


Make the dough by mixing all the ingredients on the working area. Blend the sugar into the yolks, add the flour and slowly pour the milk in a casserole pan, to make the custard, stirring continuously. Put the custard on the stove on a moderate heat, and always stirring, let it thicken. Flavour with vanilla or with the lemon zest to taste. At this point you can prepare the “tortelli”, by using the appropriate moulds, and bake them in the oven, placing them on a buttered plate sprinkled with breadcrumbs, or fry two or three “tortelli” at the time in boiling oil. Serve dusted with plenty of icing sugar.

Notes: The “tortelli” can be stuffed with sour cherry jam or with Christmas pesto. The “pesto” is prepared by mixing the plum jam with the sour cherry jam, pine nuts, cookies, sultana raisins, sweet cocoa, Sassolino liqueur, coffee powder and mustard.