Apulian Cartellate

Origins Of Cartellate, An Apulian Dessert

Cartellate, also known in their dialectal version as cartiddhate, are typical Apulian Christmas sweets that can be tasted all year round, especially during Christmas.

They are more typical of the Bari area but can be found as far as Salento. In Salento, these sweets are prepared together with another typical Christmas delicacy, the purceddhuzzi.

The Apulian cartellate are popular for several reasons: because they are a real sweet cuddle, crunchy, and if dipped in honey, mulled wine or figs syrup, they really have that extra “something” that other desserts perhaps do not have. But are the original recipe and ingredients always the same? How different are the cartellate from Lecce? And what is the recipe?

Cartellate Filled With Figs Syrup
Cartellate Filled With Figs Syrup

These questions are many and differ from among the Apulians themselves. After all, as it always happens with many traditional recipes, every family has its own tips and tricks.

Let’s start from the beginning. Not everyone knows what Apulian cartellate are, so let’s immediately answer the question: Apulian cartellate, what are they?

Cartellate from Puglia are a simple and popular dessert that has always been present on the festive tables. They were prepared with few ingredients, and it didn’t take much to make them good and delicious.

After all, there is nothing in Puglia that cannot be fried, and there is nothing wrong with that. If it’s fried it’s always better! The same goes for another typical Apulian delicacy, but salty, the pittule, also prepared from a few simple ingredients and also fried!

Someone said that these typical Apulian desserts, albeit so simple, strengthen the family ties by virtue of the great feeling of sharing, and the brotherhood that they manage to awaken.

This is probably true, given that year after year, the tradition relating to their preparation, does not lose value, and is strengthened instead. Indeed, on particular days of the year, such as for example during Christmas Eve, this strong sense of empathy even extends to the pets of the house, to which it was customary to offer some extra attention, such as a more generous dose of food or even, some modest taste of delicacies generally prepared only for humans. In short, it was not unusual, until a few decades ago, for even the house dog to taste some pittula!


In any case, you must know that some like to prepare the Apulian cartellate in the oven. A choice you could make if you don’t like frying, because you want to keep an eye on your silhouette, or in general, you prefer the taste of a cake cooked in the oven rather than fried.

To prepare the Cartellate in the oven you have to follow the original recipe of the Apulian Cartellate. When you have prepared them, place them on some oven paper and let them dry overnight. The next day, cook them in a static oven at 180 degrees for 15 minutes. Then proceed as usual, putting the mulled wine or honey in a saucepan to heat and then immersing the Cartellate in it.

Try it and let us know how you like it!

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