Pitte di San Martino: the dessert of the poor

Pitte di San Martino are biscuits typical of the province of Reggio Calabria, made with honey, sultanas and covered with sugar icing. Soft sweets that are traditionally enjoyed on St. Martin's Day, accompanying a good glass of new wine. Let's discover together how to make them at home.

Pitte di San Martino: the ingredients

  • 150 ml of water
  • 150 g of sugar
  • 125 g of honey
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 1 lemon zest
  • 50 g of butter
  • 500 g of 00 flour
  • 10 g of ammonia for desserts
  • 125 g of sultanas

For the icing

  • 100 g of sugar
  • 25 ml of water
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice

Pitte di San Martino: the traditional recipe

Put the slightly warm water in a bowl and dissolve the sugar and honey, stirring well with a spoon. Add the vanilla seeds (cut the berry, spread it gently with your hands and slide a small smooth blade knife over the pod), the grated lemon rind, the soft butter at room temperature, the sifted flour and the ammonia for desserts. Mix all the ingredients to form a compact and not too sticky dough, adding a little flour if necessary. Finally, add the sultanas and knead it until it is well incorporated and distributed in the dough.

Move the dough over a floured work surface, take small portions of dough, first form a ball the size of a walnut and then flatten it to form a more or less oval shaped biscuit, about 1 cm high. Transfer the St. Martin's pitte gradually onto one or more baking pans lined with baking paper, slightly spaced apart. Bake in a static oven preheated to 190° for 9-10 minutes, or until they have a slightly burnished colour. Once ready, remove the pans from the oven and let them cool.

Now prepare the icing. Melt the sugar with water and lemon juice in a non-stick pan, bring to the boil and cook for one minute. Brush the top of the biscuits with a brush or teaspoon to cool and glaze them. Once cooled, taste the pitte di San Martino with new wine or passito.