I didn’t follow any particular recipe here, just a general concept of traditional Italian, Tuscany originated dessert. Since the end product turned out mighty tasty, below is the recipe. Maybe someone would give it a try. And this is worth trying – fragrant and juicy with all these succulent grapes, and buttery pine nuts – there’s something to remember.
Makes one 9-inch schiacciata, about 10 servings
- ½ cup dark unsulfured raisins
- ¼ cup Marsala
- ½ cup milk
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar, divided
- 2 ¼ tsp dry active yeast (1 packet)
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 2 ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp Kosher salt
- 1 tsp anise seeds, finely ground
- 2 ½ cups small red seedless (or with seeds) grapes
- ½ cup lightly toasted pine nuts
- 3 tbsp Demerara sugar, divided
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
At least two hours before starting, better – a night before, put the raisins in a small saucepan, cover with cold water, and bring just to a boil over medium heat. Immediately drain the raisins, place them in a small bowl, add the Marsala, cover and let soak until ready to use.
Heat the milk to 95-105F. Transfer the milk to a bowl of the stand mixer if you have one, or in a large mixing bowl. Add 1 tsp of sugar from the measured 1/3 cup, and the yeast. Stir until the yeast has dissolved, cover with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place (a bowl filled with warm water works well) for about 10 minutes, until bubbly (if there’s no activity in the mixture – the yeast is probably dead and you will have to start all over again with a fresh yeast).
Meanwhile, drain the raisins over a bowl, reserve the Marsala. Melt the butter in a small bowl and cool to lukewarm. In a medium bowl whisk together the granulated sugar (minus one tsp), flour, salt, and ground anise seeds. Set aside.
Add the drained Marsala and the melted butter to the yeast mixture whisking to combine. Switch to a wooden spoon and gradually add the flour-sugar mixture stirring until a rough dough forms. Place the bowl on the stand mixer base and knead on medium speed for 5-6 minutes until the dough is smooth. Add a little bit of water (a tablespoon at a time) or a bit of flour to achieve a soft but not sticky dough. You can knead the dough by hand, it will just take a little longer. Transfer the dough into an oiled bowl, cover with oil-sprayed plastic wrap and put into a warm place to rise. Let the dough to double in size; it will take about 1 ½-2 hours (depends on the temperature of the environment).
Meanwhile, pat the raisins dry. Lightly butter a 9-inch springform pan and set aside.
After the dough has risen, transfer it onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into two equal portions. Roll each piece of dough into a 9-inch circle. Fit one circle into the bottom of the prepared springform pan. Leaving about ½-inch free border around the outer edges, scatter the half of the raisins over the dough, top with the half of the grapes, then sprinkle ¼ cup of the toasted pine nuts. Sprinkle 1 tbsp of the Demerara sugar on the top of the filling. Cover the filling with the second disk of the dough pinching the edges to seal. Top the dough with the rest of the raisins, grapes, and pine nuts. Press delicately onto the filling to submerge the grapes slightly into the dough. Cover the springform pan with oiled plastic wrap and place into a warm place until almost doubled in size, for about another 1 ½ hours.
While the schiacciata is rising center an oven rack and preheat the oven to 350F.
Drizzle 2 tbsp of olive oil over the top of the risen schiacciata and sprinkle the remaining 2 tbsp of the Demerara sugar. Place the springform pan onto a baking sheet and transfer into the oven. Bake until golden brown, about 50 minutes. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes, run a thin knife around the edges, unmold. Serve at room temperature or slightly warm (the most terrific way).