The Saint Martin biscuits are typical sweets of the Sicilian tradition that are prepared on November 11st, the day of commemoration of the Saint, which also coincides with an important anniversary of the peasant life of the past; the end of the grape harvest. This is a very ancient custom, linked to wine-making rites; reciting the proverb "At Saint Martin every must is wine", the farmers ran to taste the new wine, hoping it was of good quality, and in the meantime the women baked these delicious biscuits to soak in the first glasses. Soft and fragrant, still today Saint Martin biscuits are prepared with a leavened dough, flavored with anise seeds and ground cinnamon, and then filled with a delicious cream made with ricotta cheese and chocolate drops. A recipe to be enjoyed at the end of a meal with a good glass of wine or Muscat. So let’s see how to prepare the Saint Martin biscuits in the best way.
Prepare the biscuit dough; combine the flour with the granulated sugar, salt, anise seeds and ground cinnamon (1) in a bowl and mix everything together.
Also add the lard. Dissolve the brewer’s yeast in the water, then pour this too in the mix (2) and knead well until the mixture will be homogeneous and smooth.
Form a ball, transfer it to a bowl, cover it with a cloth (3) and let it rise until the dough has tripled in volume.
Once it has risen, take the dough, form a long loaf and divide it into pieces of about 70 grams each (4).
Shape into “sausages” about 1.5 cm wide and roll them into a spiral (5).
Transfer them to a baking tray, lined with a sheet of parchment paper (6), and let them rise for about 30 minutes.
After this time has elapsed, bake the Saint Martin biscuits in a static oven at 180 degrees C for 25-30 minutes; remove from the oven and let them cool (7).
Meanwhile, prepare the filling; work the ricotta cheese with the powdered sugar and the chocolate drops (8) until you will get a perfectly blended mixture.
A few moments before serving them, divide the biscuits in two and fill them with the cream of ricotta cheese and chocolate drops with the help of a pastry bag (9).
Sprinkle the Saint Martin biscuits with a little powdered sugar and serve them (10).
Saint Martin biscuits without filling can be preserved under a glass bell jar for 3-4 days. If stuffed, transfer them to an airtight container and preserve them in the refrigerator for up to 1 day.