Sunday, May 19 2024

Cuccia di Santa Lucia is a traditional Sicilian dessert that is eaten on December 13 to celebrate the feast of Santa Lucia.

It is a wheat berry and ricotta pudding with a sweet, citrusy twist.


 

 

 

INGREDIENTS:

For wheat berries:

  • 1 cup whole wheat berries
  • 3 cups of water
  • A pinch of salt

For the ricotta filling:

  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (or cinnamon powder)

For the topping:

  • 1/2 cup candied orange peel, chopped
  • 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted (optional)
  • Powdered sugar for dusting

 

 

METHOD

 

Prepare wheat berries:

Rinse wheat berries thoroughly under cold water.
In a medium saucepan, combine the rinsed wheat berries, water and a pinch of salt.

Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for about 1 hour or until the wheat berries are tender but still chewy.

You may need to add more water during cooking if it evaporates too quickly.
Drain excess water and set the cooked wheat berries aside to cool.
Prepare the ricotta filling:

In a bowl, combine the ricotta, granulated sugar, lemon zest, orange zest, and vanilla extract.
Mix until well combined and set aside.

Assemble the Cuccia:

In individual bowls or on a large serving platter, arrange a layer of cooked wheat berries.
Add a generous portion of the ricotta filling on top of the wheat berries.

 

Add the toppings:

Sprinkle the ricotta filling with candied orange peel, chocolate chips and toasted almonds.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar:

Just before serving, dust the Cuccia with powdered sugar to give it an extra touch of sweetness and a festive appearance.
Serving:

Cuccia di Santa Lucia is best enjoyed at room temperature or slightly chilled. It can be served as an individual dessert or in a larger dish for sharing.

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