Autumn has officially entered our homes; the days get shorter, the north wind begins to blow away the yellowed leaves from the trees and appetites awaken in search of those flavors that warm body and soul. We Tuscans are known to enjoy ourselves when it comes to eating and we have typical dishes for every season, autumn is obviously no exception! For us, October means only one thing, the time has come for the Pan co 'i Santi, the Necci and the Schiacciata with grapes. They are traditional "non-sweet desserts", which can be found almost everywhere in the typical shops and village festivals, as we told you in the previous article.
It litterally means “bread with Saints”, it was born in Siena around 1800 and is so called because it is prepared in the period preceding the feast of All Saints. It is a soft, very spicy bread made with raisins previously soaked in vinsanto, walnuts and lots of black pepper. It was once baked in wood ovens, when it was lit to bake bread, but it can be prepared in an electric oven as well.
Our Executive Chef, Pietro Fortunati, prepares it in an even more spicy variant, here are the ingredients:
• 1 kg of flour
• 400 grams of walnuts
• 250 grams of raisins
• 400 grams of water
• 3 tablespoons of pepper
• 3 tablespoons of salt
• 25 gr of brewer's yeast
• cloves and cinnamon
Once the dough has been prepared, it cooks it for about 40 minutes at 180 °C.
It is a sort of pancake made with chestnut flour, obtaines with all the chestnuts harvested during the outings in the woods of this period. They originate in the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines, typical especially in the areas of the Pistoia mountains. Today it is considered a dessert, but in reality it was created to accompany savory dishes, in fact it is sugar-free, made only with chestnut flour, water and salt. They are cooked on sandstone or iron plates with a circular shape. They can be eaten alone, or generally filled with fresh ricotta, but also with honey and nutella. The savory tradition instead calls for bacon, sausage or a thin omelette.
In Tuscany there is an abundance of grapes, not only for the harvest, but also for the table. This is another poor recipe, typical of Florence, but also of the Grosseto areas. Traditionally it was made with Canaiolo grapes, but it can be done with any black berried grape. The basic ingredients are simple: flour, yeast, olive oil, salt, a pinch of sugar and grapes, of course.
So these are our traditional autumn desserts. Have you ever tasted them?