This is the first of many wonderful and totally authentic Italian dessert recipes from undiscovered Maremma in Tuscany and Italy: a very special land where legend, history and tradition interweave into everyday living and none more so than this Italian cake and dessert recipe which tells the tale of Papal persecution and whose combination of ingredients probably have their origins as far back as Etruscan times.
And, to top it all, it is easy to make!
The ever so delicious and sweet - loved equally by adults and children in Maremma - Sfratto di Pitigliano, or Sfratto dei Goym as it is also known, is baked in two places in Maremma both set upon high ridges of volcanic tufa rock and steeped in history.
The spectacular town of Pitigliano Italy, whose preserved middle ages city buildings lie above another underground city of ancient interconnecting tunnels, Etruscan tombs, wells, and chambers carved out of the underlying rock and now home to the towns wine presses and cellars.
And, neighbouring Sorano, named after the Etruscan-Faliscan god of mountains and wolves and the scene of innumerable sieges and endless medieval wars.
Stunning Pitigliano Italy in spring where this Italian christmas dessert is made.
For the dough
For the filling
Cook the honey for 30 mins. Remove from the heat and add the walnuts, orange peel, nutmeg and anise seeds. Stir well until the mixture is homogenous and leave to cool.
Prepare the dough by mixing together the flour, sugar, vanillina, olive oil and wine. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out until it is thin. Cut into strips approximately 80cm long by 10 cm wide.
Arrange the filling along the length of the centre of each pastry strip, leaving sufficent room on either side to close each one. Close the "Sfratti" and glaze each one with egg yolk.
Bake at 150°C for between 20 and 25 minutes.
Cut into slices of three or four centimetre thickness and, for the adults, serve with a glass of sweet white wine or Vin Santo.
Trust me, you don't need to worry about how to store the "Sfratti": this Italian christmas dessert from Maremma will be consumed before your very eyes! But if you do happen to "nascondere" (to hide) a piece away for yourself for later, a cake or biscuit tin will do fine for well over a month.
The story of Sfratto dei Goym: a marriage of Jewish and Tuscan cuisine in Maremma.
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