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Recipe: the Ferratelle from Abruzzo

Friday 08 november 2019

The Ferratelle or pizzelle abruzzesi are a dessert similar to the well-known "waffles".

Recipe: the Ferratelle from Abruzzo

Pizzelle, ferratelle, cancellate, neole, nevole or nivole: the names are different but they all represent a single region. Their preparation, beyond the name, provides for numerous variations depending on the country or area of ​​origin. That of ferratelle is one of the most appreciated and well-known typical Abruzzo recipes.
In Abruzzo, however, there are two types of preparation, which are not only distinguished by the quantity of ingredients but also by the type of plate, called "iron", used to prepare them:

  • Rigid pizzelle, more crispy because cooked using a recipe that requires less use of yeast and eggs.
  • The soft pizzelle, more "tall" and similar to the now famous "waffles", with which often, not surprisingly, they are confused.

In Pescocostanzo, for example, the recipe calls for the use of cinnamon to make amber-colored ferratelle. Their origin dates back to Roman times, when they used to prepare Crustulum, a biscuit very similar to modern ferratella, to celebrate special occasions. In the eighteenth century, the irons for the preparation of pizzelle were customized by blacksmiths and artisans, who used to engrave the initials of the work's client on request. Once the dessert was prepared, through the brand, it was easy to recognize who had made it. This instrument became an object of value like the bridal outfit, so much so that it was inserted between the objects brought as a dowry by the bride at the time of marriage. The difference between old and modern irons lies in the fact that the former provided for a "scissor" opening, as they were used in the chimney and this allowed to release the pizzella more easily from those who helped the person engaged in cooking.


The difference between the plates for the waffle and those for the soft pizzelle is in the height: the first ones in fact are slightly deeper, since the recipe of the waffles foresees a greater regrowth of the waffle during cooking. Those for ferratelle are rigid and very thin, but also available in the electric version or for the living flame. But now let's see how to make crispy ferratelle.


For about 35 pods
3 eggs
6 tablespoons of sugar
6 tablespoons of seed oil (or light olive oil)
3 tablespoons of Anice or Sambuca liqueur
the grated rind of an untreated lemon
300 g of flour


We start by placing the eggs, sugar, oil, liqueur and lemon peel in a bowl and mix with a hand whisk. Then add the flour, stirring with a wooden spoon and put our mixture aside.
Meanwhile, we put the typical ferratelle iron to overheat on the medium stove for about 10 minutes at medium-low flame. We oil the inner surface of the iron, only when we are starting to cook our dessert, with a little oil and pour a teaspoon of dough in the center. We close the iron and let it cook for 30 seconds per side or until golden brown.
Let the ferratelle cool on a pastry board and once cold, if you want, you can stuff them with a jam or with hazelnut cream.

Buon appetito!


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