Every important tradition in Le Marche has its special meal associated. And here’s the Christmas one! This is more than typical, as it is only baked in a small area around Apiro and Cingoli: cavallucci. This name means small horses in Italian, but, to be honest, I can hardly see the resemblance of a horse in their shape! 😉 They are hardly known in other remote areas in our region, and also finding the recipe is quite a venture! This was a real challenge for Mamma Graziella, because there are few recipes, and those that are trustworthy are even different one from the other.
Due to its traditional aspect, here we can find two typical ingredients: sapa and mistrà. Sapa is the cooked must (which we used to bake the Ciambelle di mosto). Mistrà is a kind of liqueur only produced in Le Marche (we used it for baking Cicerchiata, if you can’t find it, you can replace it with rum).
For the filling
TYPICAL ONE(S) sapa & mistrà
- 300 gr. of sapa (cooked must)
- some tbsp of mistrà liqueur
- 100 gr. of walnuts
- 100 gr. of almonds
- 100 gr. of dried figs
- 50 gr. of sultanas
- the grated peel of an orange
- 1 cup of coffee
- 100 gr. of sugar
- 50 gr. of breadcrumbs
For the pastry
- 100 gr. of white wine
- 100 gr. of sugar
- 100 gr. of oil
- 1/2 sachet of baking powder
- 500 gr. of flour
Start with the preparation of the filling: soak the sultanas in some mistrà liqueur, chop the walnuts, almonds and dried figs, grate the orange zest.
In a bowl pour all the ingredients for the filling: walnuts, almonds and figs, sugar, grated zest of orange, soaked raisins, coffee, breadcrumbs and the sapa.
Mix thoroughly and let everything rest for a few hours, it would be better to prepare this filling the day before. Meanwhile, prepare the dough in the traditional way, pouring wine, oil, sugar, vanillin and yeast in the flour.
Create rectangles with the dough, place the filling previously prepared and close like a wallet. Close the “wallet” and be sure that the filling doesn’t escape during the baking 😉
Put them in a pan and bake at 180 degrees for about 25 minutes. Baked and sprinkled with icing sugar. To give some colour, the typical alchermes can be sprayed on top.
For having an idea of how to cook them and how they should look like, look our video: