Castagnaccio – Tuscan Chestnut Torte

Cathy Katin-Grazzini

Cathy's Kitchen Prescription LLC

www.cathyskitchenprescription.com

  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Make one 11” round torte

Ingredients

  • 1 2/3 cups or 200 grams Italian chestnut flour
  • ½ cup or 400 milliliters warm water
  • ¾ cup mixed raisins (organic Sultanas, Thompson, Black Corinth, Muscat)
  • 1/3 cup mixed pine nuts and walnut pieces
  • Sprig of fresh rosemary, destemmed

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C
  2. Sift chestnut flour into a mixing bowl and add warm water, stirring or whisking until your batter is silky smooth and resembles a thin pancake batter.  Test by sprinkling on a few raisins and observe. If the raisins all sink, the batter's a bit too thin; if they all float on top, it's too thick. Adjust by adding a teaspoon of flour or water until your batter allows some raisins to submerge while others rest on top.
  3. Transfer to a ceramic or glass baking dish. If you use a metal baking tin, line first with parchment paper. Castagnaccio is best enjoyed thin, no more than ½ -¾” thick at max, so use an appropriately sized baking dish. Sprinkle on your nuts and raisins. Strip the leaves off the rosemary stems and strew them over the surface.
  4. Bake in the center of your oven for approximately 30 minutes but begin checking at 20 minutes. Castagnaccio is ready when the surface develops its signature cracks, becomes fragrant (yum!), and the nuts become golden.

Buon appetito!

The secret to great Italian cuisine is simple: Use only the freshest, local ingredients. Castagnaccio, a simple chestnut torte beloved where chestnut forests reside in northern Italy and Corsica, is no exception.

Dating back to the 16th Century castagnaccio remains a homey, humble, delicious tradition at many families’ autumn and winter tables, served at breakfast, brunch, teatime, dessert, or whenever friends pop over. It takes only minutes to make. This version omits the traditional superficial drizzle of olive oil (you won’t miss it), allowing the natural sweetness of fresh chestnut flour to shine through, accompanied only by raisins, a sprinkle of pine and walnuts, and a few fresh rosemary leaves. That’s it!

Loaded with fiber, castagnaccio is a rich source of vitamin C, B6, folate, thiamin and riboflavin, vitamin K, manganese and potassium.  The freshness of your chestnut flour is essential for a tasty castagnaccio.  Inferior or old flour will have bitter flavor off-notes. So, it’s best to order your chestnut flour in late autumn directly from Italy and keep it in the freezer.   

  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Make one 11” round torte
  • Ingredients:
    • 1 2/3 cups or 200 grams Italian chestnut flour
    • ½ cup or 400 milliliters warm water
    • ¾ cup mixed raisins (organic Sultanas, Thompson, Black Corinth, Muscat)
    • 1/3 cup mixed pine nuts and walnut pieces
    • Sprig of fresh rosemary, destemmed
  • Directions:
    1. Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C
    2. Sift chestnut flour into a mixing bowl and add warm water, stirring or whisking until your batter is silky smooth and resembles a thin pancake batter.  Test by sprinkling on a few raisins and observe. If the raisins all sink, the batter's a bit too thin; if they all float on top, it's too thick. Adjust by adding a teaspoon of flour or water until your batter allows some raisins to submerge while others rest on top.
    3. Transfer to a ceramic or glass baking dish. If you use a metal baking tin, line first with parchment paper. Castagnaccio is best enjoyed thin, no more than ½ -¾” thick at max, so use an appropriately sized baking dish. Sprinkle on your nuts and raisins. Strip the leaves off the rosemary stems and strew them over the surface.
    4. Bake in the center of your oven for approximately 30 minutes but begin checking at 20 minutes. Castagnaccio is ready when the surface develops its signature cracks, becomes fragrant (yum!), and the nuts become golden.

    Buon appetito!

  • Credit:

    Cathy Katin-Grazzini

    Cathy's Kitchen Prescription LLC

    www.cathyskitchenprescription.com


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