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Wine Grape Pie (Schiacciata con l'Uva)


First Posted: 10/27/2011 4:55 pm Updated: 08/31/2012 10:48 am

Wine Grape Pie (Schiacciata con l'Uva)

Wine Grape Pie (Schiacciata con l'Uva)
Howard Sooley
Provided by:
total prep


Recipe courtesy of Bocca: Cookbook by Jacob Kenedy/Bloomsbury, 2011.

Around grape harvest-time, almost every bakery in Tuscany will have a rectangular tray of a low, slightly sinister but delicious-looking cake, studded with purple-black grapes. It is one of those things you see and immediately decide to eat a slice of, even if you have just had breakfast, or are groaning after an epic lunch. Schiacciata ('crushed') is only slightly sweet, as it is made from a plain (and characteristically saltless) bread dough, the grapes providing the same balance as they might in a fine bottle of Chianti -- round, ripe, tannic, earthy, fruity. Their prolific seeds give a tremendous crunch -- one that will even please some of those who normally spit grape seeds out.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon dried yeast, or 2 tablespoons fresh
  • 1 1/4 cups (about) lukewarm water
  • 4 cups (scant) bread flour
  • 2 pounds (about) red wine grapes (Sangiovese/Merlot/Cabernet, etc), or concord grapes, picked from their stems, washed and dried
  • 1/2 cup superfine sugar
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus a little extra to grease the pan
  • 1 teaspoon aniseeds or fennel seeds (optional)

Directions

  • Disperse the yeast in the water, then add the flour to make a dough, kneading it very well until it becomes smooth and highly elastic -- a good 10–15 minutes. Let rise, covered, until doubled in bulk -- 2 hours or so in the airing cupboard or any gentle warmth.
  • Divide the dough into two equal parts. Find a baking sheet, about 8 x 12in. Roll one lump of dough out until quite thin, and 4in wider and longer than the baking sheet (12 x 16in). Lay it on the tray, so the excess comes up the side. Fill the base of this lined tray with two-thirds of the grapes, and sprinkle over them one-third of each of the sugar, oil, and aniseeds (if using).
  • Roll the second part of the dough out, the same size as the baking sheet (8 x 12in), and lay it over the top, completely enclosing the grapes beneath. Press down slightly, so it snuggles on to the grapes, and fold the loose edges of the lower tray of dough inwards, towards the centre of the pie, to seal it. Dot the remaining grapes over the top, quite evenly. Sprinkle the top of the schiacciata with the remaining sugar, oil and aniseed.
  • Let rise for about an hour until it looks a little puffy (with the weight of the grapes, it won't rise a great deal), then bake at 400 degrees F for 1 hour, until the crust on top is an even and deep gold. Let it cool for at least 2 hours before serving. The leftovers make for a particularly fine breakfast.

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