My memory of my aunty's crostoli is a delightful, light crumbly sweet that has you taking one piece after another. It's generally reserved for a big occasion - giving the impression that it is difficult to prepare (or to get right).
Well tonite I tried to give it a go, did a bit of research and then adapted the following recipe :
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 3 tablespoons of caster sugar
- 2 cups of flour
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 2 eggs
- half a lemon zested and juiced
- 2 tablespoons of dark rum (I used Bundaberg Rum)
- enough oil to have 4 or 5cm deep in a small saucepan.
- icing sugar to dust the crostoli
Beat the butter and sugar together. Add the eggs, lemon zest and juice, the rum and beat together. Separately combine the dry ingredients of flour, baking powder and salt and then gradually add to the liquid mixture combining the wet and dry ingredients to form what is essentially a sweet pasta dough. It should not be sticky - if it is, add a little flour. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, knead for a few minutes and then wrap in Glad wrap and leave rest for 30 minutes on the bench.
Rolling with rolling pin
Cut the dough into quarters. Working with one quarter at a time roll into a long thin strip. I don't have a pasta machine and always use a rolling pin - it works fin. Cut into 10cm pieces and if desired, make a slit in the middle, fold half the dough through to form a bow-tie. I work in quarters, cut, shape and cook then move to the next quarter.
Heat the oil, testing with a small amount of pastry to see if it sizzles and bubbles surround the pastry upon entry into the oil. Careful not to have the oil too hot otherwise the outside will char before the pastry is cooked through.
I add the un-cooked crostoli pieces one at a time to the hot oil. Swirling with a fork and turning after 15 seconds i let the crostoli reside in the oil only 30 seconds before removing with a slotted spoon. I experimented with a little longer time and noticed it was a fine line between golden crostoli and burnt ones.
Once removed from the oil place on paper towels to absorb extra oil and allow to cool.
Dust with icing sugar and serve with a cup of coffee. Can keep in a air-tight container for several weeks but they won't last that long.