Dessert, which dates back to four centuries ago, should definitely enter our cooking repertoire and take a special place in it, today more than ever before. It is a dessert with a thin, light flaky pastry in the form of a stick with a rich filling inside. But that’s not all. Sfratto di Pitigliano carries the history of the Jewish community in Pitigliano which took refuge in this safe hamlet in Tuscany in the 16th century as a result of papal persecution. The community was forced to leave their homes and move in to the ghetto, but they survived and stayed in Pitigliano. One hundred years on, the local Jewish community commemorated "evictions" (in Italian "sfratti") that had been proceeded by knocking loudly on the door with a stick by creating this symbolic dessert. Despite this rather unsettling story, sfratto di Pitigliano expresses a desire for rebirth, enrichment and resilience. Let this desire reach you and all those who sit at your table.


Recipe:

Portions: 1 sfratto 40 cm

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Baking time: about 20 minutes


Ingredients:

Pastry with wine:

  • 150 g of flour type 00 (Italianor 450

  • 30 g of fine sugar

  • 50 ml of dry white wine

  • 40 ml of extra virgin olive oil

  • pinch of salt

Filling:

  • 150 g of honey (the one you like, I used local linden nectar honey)
  • 150 g of walnuts, ground into coarser pieces
  • grated peel from one organic orange
  • 1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon of crushed anise seeds (if you like)

To decorate:

  • 1 tablespoon of bitter cocoa

  • ½ tablespoon of water


Preparation:

  1. Prepare all ingredients on the table. This will make it easier for you to complete each stage without having to run from one end of the kitchen to the other.
  1. Heat the honey in a pot with a thick bottom to 40 degrees on a very low heat, stirring constantly. If you don't have a kitchen thermometer, wait until the honey stops being sticky and simply dissolves.

  1. Remove honey from the heat and add nuts, nutmeg, orange peel and crushed anise seeds (if you like them). Mix everything and let it cool.
  1. In the meantime, go back to the dough. Sift flour on the board so it will oxygenate: this will help the flour absorb the liquid better.

  1. Create a mound from flour and pour sugar on it. Make an indentation in the flour and add salt, pour in the wine and olive oil. Start kneading with a fork. As soon as the ingredients are mixed knead the dough quickly with your hands until it reaches a unified color and smoothness.
  1. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let stand for 15 minutes - it's enough for the gluten grid to relax.

  1. Now go back to filling. Transfer it to moist baking paper and wrap it tightly, creating a topper about 40 cm long (use a ruler to be sure).
  1. Leave the topper to dry on paper until the dough is ready.

  1. Roll out the dough 2-3 mm thick and 15 cm wide on baking paper. You can use some flour for this. But only a little!
  1. Transfer the nut topper into the dough - 2 cm from the bottom of the dough, as much as needed to start wrapping it.

  1. Wrap the topper in a whole dough. There will be two turnovers around the topper. Overlap the edges to close it well. The closure should remain from the side of the table top.
  1. Knead the dough on the tips of the stick, cutting off excessive dough and seal both edges well. Nothing is wasted in our kitchen! From the cut pieces of dough, before they dry, you can make small aperitif snacks, with stuffing as you like.

  1. With the tip of a knife, very gently (without cutting the dough), outline the lines along the entire sfratto. They will simulate the bat’s decorative lines.

  1. Bake in an oven preheated to 180 degrees for about 20 minutes (without air circulation) until the sfratto surface begins to blush. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

  1. When the sfratto is finally cold dip the brush in the cocoa dissolved in the water and cover the sfratto with it until it reaches the right color. Leave to dry.

  1. Cut the sfratto into pieces and try it right away! Choose a drink to taste according to your preferences. I tasted sfratto for breakfast with good coffee by a tiled stove. Stay home, stay safe!


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