Get your slice of tuscan bischeri pie and all is well!

This recipe made of short crust pastry basket filled with chocolate, rice, raisins and pine nuts comes from the culinary tradition of the Pisa area, and the bischeri are the name of the pastry tips that stick out from the cake. Original recipe was started in the Valdiserchio area and used for celebration days or local catholic festivities because its richness of flavourful aromas and fullness of taste made everybody cheerful.

This is the version we make at home.

Ingredients for the dough:

300 gr of flour

250 gr of sugar

70 gr of melted butter

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 teaspoon of baking soda

¼ lemon zest

1 tablespoon orange juice

20 gr of Strega liqueur (or rhum)

In a bowl mix all the above ingredients and work until a firm ball of dough is formed, then wrap it in aluminum foil and let it rest for at least an hour in the fridge.

Meanwhile prepare the filling with the following ingredients:

100 gr of dark chocolate

70 gr of short grain rice

150 gr of milk

30 gr of cocoa powder

150 gr of sugar

60 gr of candied cedar

60 gr of candied orange

40 gr of pine nuts

40 gr of raisins (pre-soaked in warm water)

½ teaspoon of grated nutmeg

1 large egg

Boil the rice in milk until well cooked, turn off the heat, discard any excess of liquid and add the dark chocolate in small chunks, mix until the chocolate is all melted and let it cool completely.

In a bowl add to the rice-chocolate mix all the rest of ingredients, stir well and set aside.

Pre-heat oven at 180°. Retrieve the dough from the fridge and split it in 2 pieces, the larger should be about 2 thirds of the whole pastry, roll this out in a large dish that has to cover bottom and sides of a baking pan, previously folded with non-stick paper foil, allowing some pastry to go a little over the pan edge. Now do some oblique cuts on the edge of the pastry at regular distance, and bend the cut part to form little triangles.

Spread evenly all the filling into the dough surface, and with the remaining dough rolled out cut in 2 cm strips, create a grid on top of the filling.

Bake for 50 minutes, remove from the oven and let it cool, Buon Appetito.

 

Bordatino

Bordatino

Bordatino is an ancient soup made ​​with “recycled” which is traditionally prepared in the area of Pisa, it is a dish of cucina povera, a sort of not too dense polenta with beans and black cabbage.
Bordatino Tuscan recipe is a very little known and that originates from the long journeys made ​​by vessels carrying Livorno buckwheat. In fact, the recipe was originally made ​​with the flour of the grain, and cooked on board …. hence the name “bordatino.”

Ingredients for 4 people:

350 grams of corn flour
350 grams of cannellini beans
500 grams of cabbage
3 cloves of garlic
3 sage leaves
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
extra virgin olive oil
1.5 l of water
salt and pepper

 

 

Preparation:

After washing the cabbage, cook it, cut it into strips and set aside. Boil the beans with a clove of garlic and two tablespoons of oil. Sauté garlic, sage and plenty of olive oil: when making color add the pepper, the concentrate, a cup of water and cook for 5 minutes. Mash the beans with the sauce until frothy. Boil a liter and a half of water with a tablespoon of olive oil, a pinch of salt and corn flour. After 15 minutes add the mashed beans and cabbage. Cook for another 20 minutes. Serve with olive oil and pepper.

Cenci – Carnival Pancakes

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These  very friable sweets are a  typical preparation for Carnival and are called by different names depending on the region of origin: chat and lettuces in Lombardy, Cenci in Tuscany, frappe and sfrappole in Emilia, Crostoli in Trentino, Galani and gale in Veneto, lies in Piedmont, as well as rosettes, lasagne, pampuglie, etc. ..

They have an ancient tradition that probably goes back to that of frictilia, sweet fried in pork fat that in ancient Rome were prepared just during the Carnival period, these sweets were produced in large quantities as they had to last for all period of Lent.

Here is the recipe :

Ingredients for 4-5 people

 

300 gr of flour: 00  wheat flour

3 eggs

Salt

200 gr white sugar or 6 table spoons of sugar

Vin Santo ( or aged Rhum), half a eggshell

1 lt of seed oil to fry

 

Make a dough of pasta by mixing 300 gr of 00  tender wheat flour , 3 medium sized eggs, half a eggshell of Vin Santo or Rhum, sugar and a pinch of salt.

Make a “well” or a” volcano” with the flours and put the eggs in the middle with a pinch of salt, sugar, adding the half eggshell of Vin Santo or Rhum, and start mixing the eggs with a fork and incorporating the flours slowly. When the mixture is not liquid anymore you can use your hands to compact the dough.   Knead it well and then stretch it with a rolling pin making it as thin as possible.
When the pasta is stretched to the thickness required  take a sharp knife ( or a toothed pizza cutter) and make as many diamonds as possible. Make a little vertical cut in the centre  of each diamond.

Heat the seed oil and when ready put not more than 4 pieces at a time into the frying pan.

Quickly turn them once and remove from the frying pan.

Put the cenci on absorbing paper; dust them with regular white sugar or vanilla sugar powder.

Click here If you want to prepare the Carnival Pancakes

Cecina (Chickpea pie)

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INGREDIENTS:
750 gr of tap water
250 gr of chickpea flour
1 table spoon of extra virgin olive oil
1 tea spoon of salt
2 twigs of rosemary

PREPARATION:
Remove the leaves of rosemary from their twig and finely mince them with a mezzaluna. In a bowl put the chickpea flour and gradually add the water, mixing well and breaking any lump. Add the salt, the minced rosemary and the olive oil. Stir well and leave it to rest. After two hours stir again and leave it to rest. Pre-heat a wood burning oven or an electric oven. After another hour stir very well and pour the mixture on a thick cupper tin of  50 cm of diameter. Bake for 10 minutes at a temperature of 220 ° C. When the sides of the pie start getting well brown take it out of the oven. Serve with some salt and pepper on top.

At our cooking school we will teach you how to make the best cecina ever !

The Strawberry of Terricciola

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Perhaps many people do not know that Terricciola, as well as for its wine, is also famous for another product: the Strawberry!
Every year, in May, takes place the Strawberry Festival of Terricciola: an event very famous throughout Tuscany and that attracts a lot of people!
The event is dedicated to all ruddy and juicy seasonal fruit, eaten fresh or as a delicious ingredient of creative dishes and savory, such as risotto with strawberries.
For those who love good food and want to spend a spring day outdoors, the Strawberry Festival is the most suitable occasion. In addition to strawberries, on sale at the booths set up for the festival, you can taste the wine from local producers to be matched to the typical dishes of Tuscan cooking of the food stand. Soup, grilled meat, white beans, sweet strawberry: these are just some of the proposals of the festival. To these will be added to the delicious pizzas, cooked in a wood oven dell’Angolo Pizzeria open every Saturday and Sunday from 21.00 .
In addition to the pleasures of the table, tourists and visitors will appreciate the beauty of the landscape of the Era, in which is inserted the ancient village of Terricciola. Among the green of olive groves and vineyards of the Pisan hills stands the bell tower of the church, which today attracts attention as it once did the towers that dotted the area. From the Latin “Turris” is derived the name Terricciola, which testifies to the presence of the defense structures in medieval times. The territory, subject to the bishop of Volterra, was long fought between Pisa and Florence, as noted by the arms of the cross country half and half lily.

For more information about Terricciola,please contact :

http://www.ariannandfriends.com/