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There are chestnut forests in many regions of Italy, and this autumn fruit provides the raw material for sweet confections that have passed into international cuisine. Montebianco, for example, is a delicious treat made with boiled chestnuts put through a sieve and mixed with whipped cream. This castagnaccio, however, is made only in Tuscany, and is an example of the old unleavened cakes known as stiacciate, among the earliest foods consumed by humans. The castagnaccio is served in slices as a dessert or sometimes is cut into small squares and eaten at the end of the meal.
- 2 cups water
- 3 1/4 cups chestnut flour
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons golden raisins
- 2 tablespoons small thin strips of orange zest
- 1/4 cup walnut pieces
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1 tablespoon rosemary leaves
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Whisk the water into the chestnut flour until smooth and without lumps. The mixture should be fairly liquid. Add a pinch of salt, the olive oil, golden raisins, orange zest and walnuts. Mix thoroughly.
Pour the batter into a round cake pan 14-16 inches in diameter. Sprinkle the surface with a little oil and scatter the pine nuts and rosemary leaves on top.
Bake in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the surface is covered by a dark crunchy crust. Serve cold, molded or unmolded.
Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Russell. All rights reserved.
nutrition information per serving
574 calories; 27g total fat; 0mg cholesterol; 12mg sodium; 77g carbohydrates; 1g fiber; 9g protein
These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.
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