California Central Coast Recipes
Wine Country Cobbler (Schiacciata a l'uva)
Known in Tuscany as Schiacciata a l'uva, this is a traditional cobbler made with a sweet biscuit dough bottom crust, a layer of Sangiovese wine grapes, then a top layer of sweet biscuit dough, then another layer of Sangiovese wine grapes, then lightly sprinkled with granulated sugar, and baked. Instead of the traditional shortening used in biscuit dough, we use a little of our local Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Wine grapes are much more flavorful and complex than table grapes. When baked, the wine grape filling does not break down into a jam. The berries stay whole and explode in your mouth with a little additional crunch from the seeds as you bite into the bread, giving a textured and captivating taste.
It's very unusual and a real crowd- pleaser not to mention a conversation-maker.
Preparation time: 30 minutesCooking time: 1 hour
MAKES 8 SERVINGS.
3-1/2 cups Unbleached All Purpose Flour
1 cup Sugar
1 Tablespoons Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoons Salt
1/4 teaspoons Ginger
1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2/3 cups Dry White Wine
4 cups Wine Grapes preferably Sangiovese Grapes
1 Pre-heat the oven to 350F.
2 Wash and de-stem the wine grapes and place in a collender to drain.
3 Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan.
4 Mix the flour, baking powder, salt,and ginger. If you are using a food processor, give the dry ingredients a short pulse to mix well.
5 Beat the eggs just enough to mix the yolks and whites together.
6 Add the eggs and oil and mix well. The mixture should be still a bit dry. If you are using a food processor, turn the food processor on and while running add the beaten eggs and olive oil. Continue to mix until the mixture appears to be a bit grainy.
7 While mixing the dough, slowly add the wine until the mixture makes a soft, slightly sticky dough. You may not need all the wine, or may need a little more depending upon the flour. You want to add just enough to make workable dough. Too much liquid will make the final dough tough. Knead the dough until it is smooth. If you are using a food processor, while running slowly add the liquid until the dough forms a ball.
8 Split the dough into two pieces, one slightly larger.
9 Roll the larger piece out to a thickness of about 1/4 inch. (Hint: roll the dough between two pieces of wax paper to prevent sticking to the rolling pin)
10 Place the rolled dough into the greased pan to cover the bottom of the pan and extend up the sides about 3/4 of an inch. Trim along the side to make an even lip. If the dough is a bit too low in some areas, use a bit of the trimmed dough and patch it. The trick is to keep the dough layer uniformly thin, if it gets too thick it will be very tough.
11 Place 3/4 of the wine grapes into the lined pan. If the grapes are very firm, gently squeeze a few of them as you add them to the pan.
12 Roll out the remaining dough to about a 1/4 inch thickness. Place the rolled dough over the top to cover the grapes. Trim any excess dough, and gently press the top dough layer down along the edges tucking the top layer down to seal it to the bottom layer. Again, the trick is to keep the dough layer uniformly thin, if it gets too thick along the edges especially, it will be very tough.
13 Spread the remaining grapes on the top of dough, pressing them in gently just to hold in place. Sprinkle a little bit of sugar on top.
14 Place the cobbler on the upper middle rack of the oven, and bake for 50 minutes to an hour or until the crust is golden brown.
15 Remove from the oven and cool. Serve at room temperature or chilled (as we like it).
This is technically a bread, but sweet enough to serve as a dessert as we like to do.
An ideal wine to serve is a late harvest wine using the same variety of wine grapes used in the cobbler. A late harvest Sangiovese is a divine choice.