Today I am back with a traditional Italian recipe: Castagnaccio. It is a typically autumnal dessert found in the Tuscany, Liguria, Piedmont, and Emilia-Romagna regions of Italy. It is made from a batter of chestnut flour, water, extra virgin olive oil, pine nuts, and raisins, which is mixed until smooth and then baked. There are many local variations of Castagnaccio and some include other ingredients, like rosemary or orange rind. This dessert is a typical example of simple Italian comfort food that uses locally sourced ingredients, as chestnuts are a staple of the area. To me, this dish represents autumn at its best. It is a dessert, but keep in mind that it is not very sweet. Traditionally, it does not require any sugar, as the chestnut flour is slightly sweet and sugar used to be very expensive, but you can add a little if you like. Castagnaccio can be served plain or with ricotta, chestnut honey or sweet wines. Enjoy!
Castagnaccio - a typical Italian fall dessert made from a batter of chestnut flour, water, extra virgin olive oil, pine nuts, and raisins.
- 500 gms – 4 cups chestnut flour
- 800 ml – 3 1/3 cup water
- 50 gms – ¼ cup granulated sugar optional
- 40 gms – 1 ½ oz. pine nuts
- 150 gms – 5 oz. raisins softened in warm water and drained
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 1 pinch of salt
- Extra virgin olive oil
Sift the chestnut flour and mix it with the salt and sugar – if using any,
Slowly add the water, half the raisins and half the pine nuts. Mix well.
Grease a 25x40 cm (10x15 inches) tin with extra virgin olive oil and pour the batter in it.
Add the remaining raisins and pine nuts and rosemary.
Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180°C – 355°F for about 35 minutes, or until dry on the top and still soft inside.
Let it cool down, then cut into squares and serve plain or with ricotta or a drizzle of chestnut honey.