Zelten is a typical dessert of the Trentino Alto Adige Christmas tradition.
Most probably, its name derives from the German "seltern" which means "sometimes", just to underline the exceptional nature of this preparation whose history is lost in antiquity; the first document in which Zelten is mentioned is kept in Rovereto and dates back to the eighteenth century. In all probability, it was already prepared in more distant times, perhaps linked to the cult of the Mother Goddess and the winter solstice, as suggested by the circular shape that brings to mind a solar disk where the almonds seem to represent rays or flowers, as if to auger the awakening of nature. It is traditionally prepared on December 21st and consumed at Christmas.
Each family jealously guards the secrets of its recipe.
We offer you ours:
- Flour, 400 g
- Sugar, 200 g
- 2 eggs (whipped)
- Butter, 100 g and ½ a glass of oil
- Walnuts, 100 g
- Figs, 100 g
- Pine nuts, 100 g
- Almonds, 100 g
- Candied citron, 100 g
- Sultana, 100 g
- 1 or 2 bags of yeast
Beat the egg yolks with the sugar and previously melted butter. At this point, add the flour already mixed with the yeast, the dried fruit (having previously allowed the grapes to soak in the rum) and then the candied fruit and the remaining rum. Finally, add the whipped egg whites. Roll out the dough, place it in a previously buttered baking tray and bake at 220 ° C for 30-40 minutes.
Usually, the Zelten from Alto Adige contains less flour and more dried fruit, and is often made in the shape of a heart or donut.
We propose this typical cake in combination with something special that is produced in nearby Faedo, by the innovative and creative owners of the Pojer and Sandri vineyard. This is the "Merlino", a sweet red wine fortified with refined, very fragrant, elegant brandy, with hints of berries and currants, vanilla, coffee and cocoa.
It is matured for 10 months in oak barrels.