We are in the thirteenth century and the Saracens, in addition to a bitter trail of torture and looting, also leave us something sweet: the Schiaccia Briaca.
The original recipe, without alcohol according to the strict Islamic doctrines, was modified over time and here the walnuts were added, the honey was removed and the sugar was put in its place as well as the Aleatico (the typical sweet wine of ‘Elba) and the Alchermes (much loved by the Medici family) and it was thus that the sober crushes became “briaca” (drunk).
On the Island of Elba it is not Christmas without the Schiaccia Briaca
Everything about the schiaccia briaca has never been found written anywhere, the information we have has been handed down orally from one generation to another and this perhaps makes it even more valuable. The Schiaccia Briaca, the typical dessert of the Island of Elba, is never prepared on your own: there is the grandmother who selects the ingredients and the mother who kneads them as in the past. And then there is that child who is there watching and almost unconsciously memorizing every single step. The Schiaccia Briaca is first of all “family” and if we now find it on sale all year round in every grocery store, before (not surprisingly) it was prepared especially during the Christmas holidays.
Egg-free and rich in dried fruit, this dessert has been for centuries an indispensable food, especially for those who preferred the sea to the land thanks to its long conservation.
The red and dry appearance does not make it seem inviting to the eyes of those who look at it for the first time, but in reality it is a very good dessert with a unique flavor. If accompanied (or better yet, soaked) in the Aleatico, the pleasure doubles!
Easy and genuine: here is the recipe of the “Schiaccia Briaca”!
Here is what we believe is the original recipe from Rio kindly granted by Katia, a friend from Rio.
Doses for two 22 cm diameter pans:
- 650 grams of flour
- 250 grams of sugar
- A glass of extra virgin olive oil (delicate)
- A glass of Aleatico
- A glass of Alchermes
- Two sachets of almonds and shelled walnuts
- A sachet of pine nuts
- A handful of sultanas
- A handful of chopped peanuts
- A sachet of baking powder
1) In a large bowl pour the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, yeast, and all the dried fruit and mix (leaving aside a little pine nuts and a little raisins to garnish the top of the cake once placed in the pan)
2) Pour the oil, the Aleatico and the Alchermes (taking care to leave some to put on top of the cake, once completed)
3) Mix the dough slowly (it should be a little soft)
4) Heat the oven to 170 °
5) Oil a low pan (or use baking paper) of 22 cm in diameter, cut the dough in half (remember that this recipe is for two cakes), place it in the pan and start to spread it with your hands until it is covered evenly throughout the surface of the pan.
6) Sprinkle the squash with the remaining oil, Aleatico, Alchermes and dried fruit that you had previously set aside.
7) Place in the oven and bake at 170 ° for 35-40 minutes
8) Let it cool completely and serve accompanied by a good glass of Aleatico wine.
Let us know if you did it and, above all, if you liked it!