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5 from 3 votes

Pitta 'Mpigliata-Calabrese Fruit and Nut Pastry

Pitta 'mpigliata-Calabrian Fruit and Nut Pastry, a traditional Christmas dessert from Calabria, mostly found in the Calabrian province of Cosenza. Strips of an olive oil and white wine pastry are filled with walnuts, raisins, orange zest, warm spices and doused with honey. The ultimate Italian Christmas treat!
Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr 25 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Calabria, Christmas, Cookies, pastry
Servings: 12 rosettes

Ingredients

DOUGH

  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs divided
  • 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

FILLING

  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup pitted prunes
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 Tablespoon vermouth
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves

BRUSHING

  • 1/4 cup apricot preserves or honey
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • Rainbow nonpareils for decorating

Instructions

To make the dough:

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the wine, olive oil, sugar, and vanilla. Mix on low speed until combined. Add 2 of the eggs. Mix on low to medium speed until combined.
  • Change the attachment to the dough hook. Add the flour and baking powder. Mix again on medium speed until a smooth dough comes together, 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Lightly flour a work surface and turn the dough out onto it. Knead by hand for 2 to 3 minutes. Cover the dough with a clean kitchen towel and let rest while you make the filling.

To make the filling:

  • In a food processor, add the walnuts, prunes, raisins, orange zest, honey, vermouth, cinnamon, and cloves. Process for 20 to 30 seconds, or until no large chunks remain. Transfer to a medium bowl.
  • To assemble: Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray a 9-inch pie plate with baking spray.
  • With a rolling pin, roll one-third of the dough into a 10-inch (25 cm)circle about 1/8 inch (3 mm) thick. Roll the dough onto rolling pin and transfer it to the pie plate. Trim any excess dough to the height of the pie plate.
  • Roll the remaining dough 1/8 inch (3 mm)thick. Using a ravioli cutter, cut strips of dough about 2 inches (5 cm) wide and 10 to 12 inches (25 to 30 cm) long. Spread the filing along each strip and roll into a rosette. Place the first rosette in the middle of the crust. Repeat the process, placing each additional rosette around the first one. You should be able to make about 12-13 rosettes. Fold in the surrounding dough.
  • Beat the remaining egg and brush the entire pastry with it.
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes, until golden brown.

For brushing:

  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the apricot preserves and water. Heat until liquid. Brush the pitta with the preserves and decorate with the nonpareils