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Catholic Recipe: Fave del Morti


  • 1/4 pound almonds
  • 1/4 pound sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • butter, size of a walnut
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 lemon peel, grated
  • Details

  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Difficulty: • •
  • Cost: $$$$
  • For Ages: 11+
  • Origin: Italy

Also Called: Beans of the Dead

On All Souls' Day, good children who have prayed for the dead throughout the year are rewarded these Beans of the Dead as treats.


Pound some of the almonds (unblanched) with some of the sugar in a mortar, and then rub through a sieve. Continue this process until all of the almonds and sugar have been used. Any of the mixture remaining in the sieve should be pounded again until it is fine enough to pass through the sieve. Work this paste with the flour, butter, cinnamon, egg, and lemon peel until the whole is quite smooth. When done, roll into long thin rolls; divide into small pieces and shape them to resemble a broad bean. Bake on a greased tin at 350° F. for about twenty minutes or until light brown. Though soft at first they will harden when cold.

Recipe Source: Feast Day Cookbook by Katherine Burton and Helmut Ripperger, David McKay Company, Inc., New York, 1951
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