We are in the territory of the Tuscan villages, a region very much linked to the history of its inhabitants and popular traditions, especially in the preparation of typical dishes. The traditional cookies of Pitigliano are the Sfratti, currently very appreciated not only in the Tuscan village, but also in the rest of Italy.
The Sfratti di Pitigliano are large cookies and are filled with a very tasty filling of dried fruit and aromas. There are several bakeries in the town to still bake these characteristic sweets.
The origin of the name goes back to the time when the owners of the houses chased away farmers and tenants who did not pay the rent. To evict the tenants who were in arrears was used a big stick, hence the shape of the cookies inspired by the shape of that unusual rod.
This is a story related to real events, witness the bakery of Jewish origin still present in the village that recalls how in early 1600 Cosimo II de 'Medici decided to bring together the Jewish population present in Pitigliano in a neighborhood prepared for them. The conversion in a ghetto had as a consequence the eviction of the Jews from their homes, always with the use of sticks.
Their history does not reflect their taste at all, as they are super delicious and their preparation still follows the popular tradition, ingredients and doses of the time. Let's see how they are prepared.
Ingredients and doses: six cups of white flour, three cups of sugar,
a cup of white wine, a cup of extra virgin olive oil, two cups of millefiori honey, a kilo of chopped walnuts, cinnamon, a pinch of salt, black pepper, a dozen cloves, a whole orange peel, to be chopped.
For the preparation of the pastry use the pastry board and place the flour in a fountain, putting the sugar, wine, a pinch of salt and oil in the center. Knead for at least five minutes, after which you wrap the dough in a sheet of tissue paper and let it rest in the refrigerator.
Pour the honey into a saucepan, let it dissolve by stirring over low heat, slowly, avoiding to make it swell. Chop the nut kernels very finely, in small doses; use the chopping board and the half-moon for this operation, and not the chopper: the taste will be completely different! Now add the walnuts, orange peel, cinnamon and cloves to the honey and stir always over very low heat for at least three minutes. Now divide the filling into twelve parts of the same proportions and, with the help of a little bit of flour, prepare some cookies, narrow and long.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and divide it into twelve parts, with each of which you roll out a sheet on the pastry board. Arrange the dough on each sheet with the nuts and honey you have prepared and close it around, forming a cookie. Place the cookies on a baking sheet with baking paper, taking care to separate them from each other.
Bake at one hundred and ninety degrees for at least twenty minutes, or until you see the colored cookies. Take them out of the oven and wrap them in tin foil to preserve them. They are delicious accompanied with sweet liqueur, better if vinsanto.
Sfratti di Pitigliano can be kept for many days, maintaining their fragrance and their typical flavor, very tied to the traditions of the village and its inhabitants.
Enjoy your meal!
Photo by itstuscany.com