Local productsSunday 30 December 2018

Recipe of the week: Spungata

The sweetest side of the Lunigiana. In the hills of Sarzana, a simple and genuine dessert awaits you.

Credit Xaura

Credit Xaura

It is round in shape, with a spongy, pierced and irregular aspect ... we are talking about the excellent Spungata or Spongata, a typical dessert from Sarzana and surroundings.

It is a simple dessert, baked in the oven, peculiar for its filling, a jam enriched with dried fruit, honey, herbs and spices. The sheets that enclose the filling are embellished with different reliefs obtained by the pressure of some inlaid wooden molds. In short, Spungata is a beautiful cake to see, but even better to taste.

It is given at Christmas, following the ancient customs. There was a time when landowners donated it to their settlers in exchange for land products. Or you can buy it and enjoy it at home!

In Roman times there was a cake mentioned by Ovid, very similar to our spungata, made of honey and pierced like a honeycomb that was donated on the first day of the year. The name itself, spungata, is of Latin origin and means sponge, probably for its appearance.

[Credit lamialiguria]

Ingredients:

400 grams of flour,

250 grams of honey,

250 grams of walnuts,

200 grams of sugar,

2 glasses of white wine,

100 grams of rusks (optional),

100 grams of butter,

75 grams of almonds,

75 grams of hazelnuts, 75 grams of walnuts,

50 grams of raisins,

50 grams of pine nuts,

50 grams of candied cedar,

50 grams of candied orange rind,

apples and pears cooked in the oven,

50 grams of powdered sugar,                                  

1 tablespoon of liquor,

spices and salt.

Preparation:

Peel the almonds by dipping them in hot water, then break the rusks finely. Toast the hazelnuts and then pestle them together with the walnuts. Soften the raisins in warm water. Cut the cedar and orange zest. In the mortar, crush the almonds together with the same amount of sugar and pine nuts.

In a saucepan bring the honey and part of the wine to a boil. Mix everything, sprinkle with liquor and sprinkle the spices. Let it rest for at least a day.

Prepare the dough with flour, sugar, a pinch of salt, melted butter, and the remaining wine. Let it rest for at least 30 minutes. Roll out the puff pastry from which two layers are obtained. Round wooden forms of various dimensions are used on which the first layer of puff pastry is laid, above which the mixture is spread and then the other layer of puff pastry.

On the top sheet put glaze and holes for easy cooking inside. The cake thus obtained is placed in the oven at 200 ° C for 30-40 minutes.

Once cold sprinkle with icing sugar. Before consuming it, it is recommended to put it in the oven at 100 ° C for a few minutes to soften the filling and make the dough crispier.

Judit Neuberger

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