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TIP OF THE DAY: Fiori di Sicilia, Fior Di Sicilia

Fior di Sicilia, an Italian essence that translates to “flower of Sicily,” was used by our friend Ruth’s mother to flavor almost everything she baked. Biscotti, brioche and sweet breads, cookies, cheesecake, angel/pound/sponge cake, pie, macarons, meringues, yellow and white cakes got the fior di sicilia treatment, especially during the holidays.

Ruth’s mom no doubt inherited the tradition from her mother and grandmother, who were born in the old country. Italians use it to add flavor and aroma to panettone, pandoro and ricotta cookies.
 
WHAT IS FIORI DI SICILIA?

The essence is a combination of floral, citrus and vanilla extracts, with a lovely floral aroma. Some Americans might identify the scent and taste as an elegant take on “Creamsicle.” Most will find it beguilingly mysterious, and will ask you what the taste is. (Note that essences from different manufacturers may vary. One friend notes flavors of lemon, lime and strawberry in her brand.)
 
Is It Fiori Or Fior Di Sicilia?

The terms are used interchangeably. We see bottles with both the singular, fior di sicilia, and the plural, fiori.

   
Fiori Di Sicilia, Fior Di Sicilia

Fiori di Sicilia adds floral and citrus “mystery” to baked goods. Photo courtesy King Arthur Flour.

 
How To Use Fiori Di Sicilia

We like to use it to add something special to holiday baking. Add a half teaspoon of fiori di sicilia to a basic cookie or cake recipe. If that isn’t enough for you, use more next time. If the half teaspoon seems meager, it’s because the essence is potent, and should be used with light touch.

Other popular holiday uses:

  • Biscotti
  • Butter cookies and shortbread
  • Cream cheese and ricotta fillings
  • Hot tea, sparkling water
  • Pound cake and layer cake
  • Ricotta cookies
  •  
    We’ve been known to add it to a cup of warm milk (hot or warm milk is a better-for-you comfort food for us). You can add your sweetener of choice to create a cup of “hot fiori di sicilia.”

    In the summer, add it to iced tea and fruit soup.

    You can try it in a one-ounce size ($9.95) from King Arthur Flour; there’s also a 4-ounce size ($19.95). The smaller size is a nice stocking stuffer for people who bake.

     

    Christmas Butter Cookies
    Christmas butter cookies with fiori di sicilia. Here’s the recipe, from King Arthur Flour.
     

    BAKE THESE RECIPES WITH FIORI DI SICILIA

    Thanks to King Arthur for developing these delicious recipes:

  • Holiday Butter Cookies Recipe
  • Lemon Brioche Recipe
  • French Toast Recipe
  • Cranberry Nut Fruitcake Recipe
  • Lemon-Glazed Pound Cake Recipe
  • Meringues Recipe
  • Pandoro Recipe
  • Panettone Muffins Recipe
  • Panettone Recipe
  • Shimmer Cookies Recipe
  • Orange Shortbread Cookies Recipe
  • Springerle Cookies Recipe
  • Spritz Cookies Recipe
  •  

    There are 60 more fiori di Sicilia recipes at KingArthurFlour.com. Enjoy the voyage of discovery.

      




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