Pizze di Natale
This recipe has been in my family for years. Made at Christmas time, this sweet fruit and nut pastry is always popular with the family. The sweetness of the dried fruit and vinocotto with the nuts and the crispness of the pastry makes all our mouths water and is something we all look forward to at Christmas time (besides the homemade lasagna of course).
For the pastry:
• 1 kg self raising flour
• 200g sugar
• 250 ml light oil or butter (your choice)
• 4-5 eggs
• Lemon rind
• 1 tbsp vanilla extract
• 250 ml milk
For the filling:
• 600g almonds, chopped
• 400g walnuts, chopped
• 375g sultanas
• 375g raisins
• 375g currants
• 500g figs, chopped
• Lemon or orange rind
• 500 ml vinocotto
1. In a non stick saucepan, mix together all the ingredients for the filling.
2. Cook gently and slowly for at least 30 minutes or until all the vinocotto has been absorbed by the fruit. Stir often and keep an eye out that it doesn’t stick and burn. Move to a bowl and set aside to cool. (This step is best done the night before as the mixture needs to be completely cooled down before continuing).
3. Preheat oven to 180°C.
4. For the pastry, beat the eggs with the sugar and vanilla. Slowly add the oil and beat until combined.
5. Add the milk and flour and mix until it becomes a dough. Depending on what consistency you want from the pastry and how many you want to make, you can add more or less milk.
6. Once you have a dough that is not too sticky but firm enough to move with your hands, take small balls of dough (about mandarin sized), and begin stretching each ball into a small dinner plate size, rolling it out with a rolling pin and making sure the pastry is as thin as you can make it (without tearing).
7. Fill each circle of pastry with the fruit and nut mixture and fold the sides up.
8. For decoration, take pieces of the dough and twist/stretch across the top of the pastry. Brush with lightly beaten egg and add sprinkles.
9. Line a tray with baking paper and place the pastries not too close together. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Keep an eye on them and move them around so they cook evenly.