I like to rub the lemon zest into the sugar with my fingertips – it seems to make the taralli even more lemony.
These soft, sweet, ring-shaped taralli are typical of Sicily (in particular, Palermo). This version is fragrant and lemony.
- 250 g (9 oz/1½ oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 50 g (1¾ oz) cornflour (cornstarch)
- 1 scant tsp baking powder pinch of salt
- 100 g (3½ oz) caster (superfine) sugar zest of 1 lemon
- 90 g (3 oz) cold unsalted butter, diced
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 150 g (5½ oz) icing (confectioners’) sugar
- 30 ml (1 fl oz) freshly squeezed lemon juice
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Resting time: 1 hour
Place the flours, baking powder and salt in a bowl and lightly whisk until combined.
Place the sugar and lemon zest in another bowl and using the tips of your fingers, rub the zest into the sugar until it is well incorporated. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and whisk lightly.
Again, using your fingertips, work the butter into the dry ingredients until it has a sandy texture. Drop in the egg and mix with a wooden spoon until well combined. Using your hands, bring the mixture together and knead briefly until it is homogenous and smooth. Wrap in plastic wrap and set aside in the fridge for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 170°C (340°F).
Divide the dough into 30 g (1 oz) balls, then roll each ball into a small sausage and join the two ends to make a slightly overlapping ring. Bake for 25 minutes or until pale golden, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
To make the icing, place the icing sugar and lemon juice in a bowl and whisk vigorously until the icing is smooth. Dip the top of the cooled taralli into the icing then place on a wire rack until the icing hardens.
The taralli will keep in an airtight container for 3–4 days.
This recipe is from Italian Street Food. (Smith Street Books). Photography by Paola Bacchia.