In Rome's Ghetto there are many incredible places to eat all sorts of traditional Jewish-Roman delicacies. One of them is a hole-in-the-wall cake shop where we first tasted this incredible creation. It is not pizza at all, but an eggless, unleavened pastry crammed full of whole almonds and candied fruit and cooked until it looks rather burnt but is in fact absolutely perfect, with the nuts crunchy and fruits bursting with flavour.
- 250g (2 cups) all-purpose flour
- 250g (2 cups) peeled blanched almonds, coarsely ground
- 120g (2/3 cup) granulated sugar
- 120 ml (half cup) sunflower oil, warmed
- 1 (or more) cups sweet white wine (sherry or marsala are fine too), warmed
- 100g (3/4 cup) whole almonds, unpeeled and lightly toasted
- 100g (3/4 cup) raisins
- 130g (1 cups) candied fruit (cherries, oranges, lemons, green squash), chopped
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour and the ground almonds.
- Add the warmed oil gradually and mix it in well.
- Add all the other ingredients to the bowl and mix well.
- Add the warmed wine gradually, mixing as you go. You may not need it all. Add enough to form a dough that is moist, but that can be worked with your hands without sticking too much.
- Compact the dough with your hands quickly.
- Arrange on a baking tray lined with parchment paper, squashing the dough down a little to be an inch and a half high (2 to 3 cm).
- Bake in a preheated oven at 180º C (220ºF) for 30 minutes, until firm on the top but still soft inside. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack before cutting and serving.