I have been hesitant whether to write or less this article. Then the decision, putting aside any type of moralism and sense of the decency (and also, somehow, my own classy).
"Shame?" – you will ask you - "And because you should ever have shame in to write a recipe or in to speak of kitchen?". Because I want to speak to you of the Easter typical sweet of San Fratello, Norman village on the beautiful Nebrodi Mountains in the Messina’s Province.
"And that there will be of scandalous in an Easter dessert?" - you will keep on asking you.
Well indeed something scandalous there is in these cookies done with flour 00, eggs, sugar, melted, yeast, vanillin, milk and seeds of anise, that they take different names according to the zones of production: "Pupi cu l’uovu" to Palermo, the "Cudduri" in Oriental Sicily, "Cannati or cannatieddi" in the territory of Trapani (but also in some villages around Palermo, like Carini), "Panaredda" or "Palummedde" in the other Sicilian provinces, "Pupiddi" in Calabria.
To San Fratello, instead they call, "Pumpjii", "Pumpini”. Well, in english it will seem you a word as another. Then I translate it in your slang: "pumpinu" in Sicilian idiom it is synonymous of “act of pleasing a man orally”.
Done surprise, eh?!?
I have discovered a long time ago its some thanks to my friend Zino Citelli, which has told an exhilarating episode that had as subject such sanfratellani cookies and one doctor friend of his, which, after having made a free consultation, he has told in Sicilian: " Dutturi, visto chi un si vole pajari, ci fazzu fari quattru pumpini ri me' figghia." I maliciously challenge whatever man to be indifferent in front of such type of proposal, and also the face of the doctor betrayed an instant of dismay.
The name very probably derives from the dialect term "pumpìan", that points out something done in great splendour. It has clear origins French or, better, rooster-italic since San Fratello has been repopulated in it was Norman at soldiers colonist lombardi, that has left in inheritance this name "uncomfortable" to such sanfratellani sweet.
This is my personal recipe
For the biscuits: 1 kg of flour 00 (for sweets); 300 g. of caster sugar; 300 g. of lard (replaceable with the butter or the margarine); 5 g. ammonia (it corresponds to an almost full coffee teaspoon); 1 little envelope of vanillin; 1 egg; a teaspoon of salt; milk q.b
For the decoration: 12 hard-boiled eggs with all the shell; gr 300 of icing sugar; some drop of juice of lemon; water q.b; a pinch of salt; colored dressing of sugar or bonbons silvered or confettini.
Procedure: To mix flour, sugar, vanillin, salt and ammonia (it can be replaced with half little envelope of baking powder) on a shelf, make a hole and to add the raw egg and the lard melted in a pot on the fire. Now, you knead with as milk as all it takes is to getting a soft and homogeneous (it doesn't have however to result sticky) dough. To level the dough, scattering on the plan of job some flour, to draw you the biscuits of the preferred form, to position you a firm egg to hold back with two splints of dough and to bake them to 30 minutes to 180°. In the meantime to prepare frosting mixing in a bowl the icing sugar with some drop of juice of lemon and the necessary water to get a mixture not too much fluid. Take out over the oven the cookies, to let them cool on a gridiron and, finally, to decorate them with the the frosting and the colored bonbons.