This dish comes from Southern Italy and celebrates the slow food movement found there. Similar to a Christmas mince pie in both flavour and tradition, this dessert also includes walnuts and almonds.
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 110 g (½ cup) caster sugar, plus extra, to sprinkle
- 60 ml (¼ cup) light olive oil
- 60 ml (¼ cup) milk
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- ½ lemon, zested
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 225 g (3¼ cups) self-raising flour, sifted
- 500 g (2½ cups) dried figs, finely chopped
- 125 g (¾ cup) sultanas
- 120 g (¾ cup) blanched almonds, chopped
- 125 g (1¼ cups) walnuts, chopped
- 250 ml (1 cup) vino cotto (see Note)
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- ½ small orange, zested
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
To make the fruit filling, combine the figs, sultanas, almonds, walnuts, vino cotto, sugar, orange zest, cinnamon and 300 ml water in a large, heavy-based saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring continuously to prevent the mixture sticking, for 40 minutes or until the fruit softens and most of the liquid is absorbed. (Add extra vino cotto if the mixture is too dry.) Transfer to a bowl and cool completely.
To make the pitti dough, reserve 2 tbsp beaten eggs, then place the remainder in a bowl with the sugar, oil, milk, lemon juice, zest and vanilla extract, and whisk until well combined. Gradually add flour, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon, until combined. Turn out mixture onto a lightly floured work surface and knead gently for 2 minutes or until a soft dough forms, adding extra flour if the dough is too sticky. Divide into 4 pieces.
Preheat oven to 180°C and line 2 oven trays with baking paper. Dust the work surface with extra flour. Roll out 2 pieces of dough into rough 28 cm rounds, then using a 25 cm plate as a guide, trim to 25 cm rounds. Place 1 round on the lined tray and spread over half the fruit filling, leaving a 1.5 cm border. Top with the second round and press the edges to seal, then using a fork, crimp the edges. Repeat with the remaining dough and fruit filling. Brush the pies with reserved beaten eggs and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake the fruit pies, swapping the trays halfway, for 20 minutes or until the pastry is golden. Serve warm or cold.
• Vino cotto, meaning 'cooked wine' is a sweet, tangy, aromatic condiment that is used in both sweet and savoury dishes. It is made from cooked grape must and is sometimes flavoured with other ingredients such as figs. It is available from delis, selected greengrocers and specialist food shops.
As seen in Feast magazine, October 2011, Issue 2. For more recipes and articles, pick up a copy of this month's Feast magazine or check out our great subscriptions offers here.