I love the scent of cinnamon mixed with citrus fruits that we dried on the wood stove. Orange slices and their peel, intoxicated the environment while Grandma ‘Nitta whipped pieces of cinnamon. The aroma from our nostrils made those cold winter afternoons something magical and intoxicating.

A few days before making winter dessert, Grandma ‘Nitta brought us to the countryside to collect oranges. The most popular fruit, amidst expanses of trees alternated with patches of green. We always accompanied the harvest of oranges with the “cugghiuta dei caliceddi ”(typical vegetable of the Etna areas). In the following days, freshly squeezed juices and cualiceddi at the table were a must!
We indulged in jams, cakes and orange juices but my favorite was the orange and cinnamon donut that I will propose here in my version of tart! Hope you will like it!

The bitter orange (citrus aurantius) was brought to Sicily by the Arabs during the seventh century and until the sixteenth century only “blond oranges” were cultivated, exclusively for ornamental purposes. In fact, beautiful “gardens” were created, a term still used today to indicate strips of land destined for the cultivation of oranges. A legend has it that one day the king of Spain received a small orange tree as a gift. Enthusiastic about the small present, he had it planted in the garden to enjoy the view and its heady scent. One day, a visiting ambassador, passing through that garden, was struck by the beauty and smell of the tree and so he asked for a twig as a gift. The king, jealous of his tree, refused the request and the ambassador decided to bribe the gardener with 50 gold coins. The fee, in the future, was used as a dowry for his daughter. The young woman, on her wedding day, adorned her hair with a sprig of orange flowers, the source of her luck. From that day on, orange blossoms, a symbol of purity, were associated with the rite of marriage.

Oranges are an important source of vitamins, especially A and C but also B. For the daily requirement of vitamin C just consume 2 or 3 a day. Oranges increase the immune defenses against viruses and bacteria so I would say that their consumption is highly recommended for this historical period. They prevent cardiovascular disorders and have an anti-stress action. Oranges slow down cancer degenerative forms, thanks to the strong antioxidant action exerted against free radicals. Finally, they ensure active control against acid radicals, which are nothing more than toxic chemicals produced by an incorrect diet.
Also keep in mind that oranges should be eaten in wedges, because half of the pectin of an orange is found in the albedo, the white and spongy part that covers the rind inside. It is therefore better not to be too meticulous in peeling them, because by eating a little white skin you will ensure the right amount of this important fiber.


For the dough:
300 grams of flour 00
1 egg
30 ml of acacia honey
100 grams of sugar
Cinnamon powder

For the filling:
10 oranges
Sugar 50% of the weight of the pulp

Add the flour, egg, sugar, honey, cinnamon powder and knead until the mixture is smooth and homogeneous.
Cover with saran wrap and place in the refrigerator.
For the jam, peel the oranges and remove all the white skin that would otherwise make the jam bitter, add the sugar and blend. Cook over low heat for 30 minutes.
At this point, roll out the dough and cover the pan by removing the excess part that you will use for the strips. Sprinkle the orange jam on the dough and cover with strips that will be positioned in a checkerboard pattern.

Leave A Comment