The Ciaramicola is the typical Easter dessert of the Umbrian tradition. It is a ring-shaped cake with a rather simple dough and a surface of crunchy white glaze, sprinkled by a lot of coloured dragees. The original cake has a distinctive
trait: in the central hole are arranged two small sticks crosswise, made of the same dough, as a blessing sign.
According to the tradition, young girls "in marriage age" give it as a gift to their lovers (or at least, they used to do so) in the day of Easter. It is also a symbolic cake: the central swelling represents the Major Fountain of Perugia, the five corners are the five districts of the old town, the red of the alkermes and the white of the meringue are the town colours; little yellow, green and blue dragees represent, respectively, the ripe wheat, the mountain grazing lands and the waters of Trasimeno Lake.
Ingredients for 6 persons:
- 500 gr of soft wheat flour
- 3 eggs
- 200 gr of sugar
- 120 gr of lard or butter
- half glass of alkermes
- grated rind of half lemon
- 1 sachet of yeast
For the glaze: 2 albumens, beated until stiff.
For the garnish: coloured dragees.
Knead the flour with eggs, butter, sugar, grated rind of lemon and alkermes. Add the yeast. A piece of the dough is shaped into a ring of 5 cm of diameter and put on a greased baking tray; with the remaining part of the dough, make two small sticks to put crosswise in the middle of the ring, and 5 marbles to put on the four corners and in the middle. Then, with the scissors, quickly cut the spheres.
The Ciaramicola is oven-baked at 180-200 C degrees. In the meanwhile, beat two egg whites until stiff; take the cake out of the oven and cover it with the albumen. Sprinkle with coloured dragees and put the ciaramicola again into the off oven to dry the meringue.