The Easter Dove (Colomba)

Soft, buttery and fragrant: the Easter Dove is a traditional dessert of Italian origin that in Ticino is never missing on the table on Easter Sunday, perhaps accompanied by a Moscato or a white passito wine.

Some legends date the origin of the Easter Dove back to the early Middle Ages, but it was a famous Italian pastry shop - in the 30s – that modified the panettone recipe into one of a dessert suitable for Easter celebrations. Like the panettone, the Easter Dove has become part of Ticino's confectionery tradition. And like the panettone, it is rather elaborate to prepare according to the original recipe. Here we propose a very easy recipe without the addition of yeast, to bring a little bit of Ticino to the table during Easter.


Ingredients for a 750 g mold

  • 3 Eggs
  • 350 g flour 00
  • 150 ml milk
  • 100 g butter
  • 180 g sugar
  • 1 lemon zest
  • 1 orange zest
  • 1 sachet of baking powder
  • 50 g of chopped almonds
  • peeled almonds as you like
  • sugar grains as you like
  • 100 g candied orange (optional)
  • 50 g of almond liqueur (optional)

Separate the yolks from the egg whites and set them aside. Beat the yolks with the sugar until they become clear. Incorporate the butter, zests, chopped almonds and candied oranges (optional). Mix and add the milk and liqueur. Mix well with an electric whisk and add the flour a little at a time and the baking powder. Mix the dough. Whip the egg whites with a pinch of salt and add them to the mixture by folding them gently from the bottom to the top to avoid the air being knocked out of them. Pour the dough into a 750 g Easter Dove mold. In the absence of a dove mold, a donut mold or a normal cake tin can be used. It's the taste that counts! Smooth the surface of the dough and sprinkle it with sugar grains and peeled almonds. Bake in a static oven preheated to 180°C (356 °F) for 40 minutes.
Happy Easter!

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