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.