Castagne is the Italian word for Chestnuts and you can’t walk far in this city without seeing them in some form or other. Whether it is the Caldarroste roasting chestnuts in the streets or a visit to the local bakery where you will find the traditional Tuscan desert slice, Castagnaccio made with ground chestnut flour, pine nuts and sultanas.
Yesterday I went to the supermarket and was met with the impressive display below! Chestnuts, Chestnut Flour and the special pan used to toast them over the fire.
For those of you wanting to make Castagnaccio at home, it is really quite simple but you may need to experiment a bit to get the perfect result – not too dry, moist inside with a thin crust on the top. Here is my recipe below.
400 g chestnut flour (the best quality is not available until mid November)
about 400 ml of warm water
½ glass extra-virgin olive oil
80 g pine nuts
200 g walnuts (optional)
50 g raisins
Soak the raisins and pine nuts in warm water for about 10 minutes, then rinse.
Sieve the flour and mix with warm water until the mixture is smooth and the consistency of a thick cream.
Grease a baking tray with extra virgin olive oil
Pour the creamy mixture onto the baking tray
Top with rosemary, pine nuts, walnuts and a drizzle of oil
Cook in a fan-forced oven at 200°C for about half an hour until cracks appear on the surface.
BEST EATEN WHILE STILL WARM!