Memoir Under the Fig Tree

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Antonia Scafidi's White Mussetti

  • 1 heaping cup sugar
  • 1 cup white raisins
  • 1 cup mixed candied citrus fruit
  • 1 cup pignoli or walnuts
  • ½ bottle (1 fl. oz.) pure anise extract,
    or one bottle (.125 fl. oz.) anise oil
  • 1¼ cup milk (heated and cooled)
  • 12 tablespoons butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 5 cups sifted flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons of water
  1. Mix the sugar, raisins, candied fruit, nuts, and anise flavoring together. Cover and set aside for 2 hours.
  2. Combine and gently warm the milk and butter. Allow the mixture to cool.
  3. Pour the wet mixture over the other ingredients.
  4. After beating the four eggs, pour them over the other ingredients. Combine well.
  5. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together and add, one cup at a time, to the wet mixture.
  6. Turn the dough onto a floured board and knead until the dough no longer sticks. (You may have to add ¼-½ cup more flour.)
  7. Divide the dough into 4 or 5 equal pieces.
  8. On a lightly floured surface, roll each piece into a 13" football-shaped loaf.
  9. Place loaves on parchment covered sheets.
  10. Brush the loaves with ½ teaspoon of vanilla diluted with 2 tablespoons of water and top with colored sprinkles.
  11. Bake in a 375° oven for 20-25 minutes, until the loaf begins to split on top and brown on the bottom.
  12. Cool completely before slicing on the diagonal, at one-half inch intervals, into bars.

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