Neapolitan migliaccio, the Carnival feast…lasts until Easter time!
The migliaccio is a typical dessert during Carnival, but it is so good that people eat it until Easter time! It’s a soft, flavored, and sugary treat, made out of simple ingredients. It’s a really easy recipe that everybody likes, the children and the grown-ups as well.
This is the original recipe of Neapolitan Migliaccio, just with the semolina flour.
It’s the goodbye-to-the-winter dessert in the culinary tradition, especially during the Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, and refers to the Carnival celebration culminating on the day before Ash Wednesday. In Naples pastry shops you can usually find this dessert until Easter time.
Neapolitan Migliaccio, the recipe
The original recipe of the Neapolitan Migliaccio, the Carnival feast, calls for a simple ingredient only: the semolina flour. Anyway, it’s really famous also the recipe with the ricotta cheese as well, reminding of the filling of the typical sweet from Naples, the sfogliatella.
It’s an oven baked dessert; you can serve it cold but also warm, with a dust of powdered sugar on top.
The tradition calls for the migliaccio cooked in a copper pan. Moreover, another typical ingredient of this recipe is the sugna, the lard in Italian, as a substitution for butter, as our grandparents used to do. Sometimes, you can also find a recipe that provides for water instead of milk, like in some places around Italy.
This recipe comes from a dear friend, who got it from her great grandmother!
- Per uno stampo da 26 cm di diam
- 2 cups (250 g) semolina flour
- 1 1/3 cups (400 ml) milk
- 1 1/2 cups (350 ml) water
- 1 1/2/ cups (300 g) granulated sugar
- 5 eggs
- 1 Tbsp lard or butter
- 1 lemon
- powdered sugar to dust
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Boil together the water, the milk, the lemon peel, the sugar.
- Add the semolina flour while stirring until it smooths.
- switch off the heat, take out the lemon peel, and while stirring add the butter.
- Let the cream cool down.
- Whip the eggs and add them to the cream.
- Butter and flour dust the round baking pan and pour the cream in.
- Bake for 45/50 minuti or until it browns.
- Cool down and dust with powdered sugar to taste.
The origins of Migliaccio
They say the origins of migliaccio come from a long time ago, the Middle Age. The name comes from Latin miliaccium that means millet bread.
The millet flour was the main ingredient for the polenta as well, before the corn flour arrived in Italy.
The ancient recipe for Migliaccio called for another particular ingredient, the miglio, the pork blood, because during this period of the year they slaughtered the animals to butcher the cured meat. It was a really nutritious and poor meal for the farmers.
The Catholic Church and the middle-class did not like the use of pork blood because it was once related to the pagan traditions, so they tried to forbid the use in the poor country sides.
So in the following years the miglio disappeared and sugar, cinnamon, flour, and eggs substituted it, creating the Mardi Gras dessert that we now know: the Neapolitan Migliaccio.
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Martina and Elisa