Fugascina di Mergozzo
Once upon a time in the charming village of Mergozzo nestled in the beautiful region of Piedmont, there existed a culinary secret known as the fugascina. These delectable cakes were baked with love and care, captivating the taste buds of locals and visitors alike. It was said that the fugascina could only be truly experienced in Mergozzo, making it a must-try delicacy for anyone who ventured into the village.
The history of the fugascina di Mergozzo was shrouded in mystery, its origins dating back centuries to a time when the village was but a humble hamlet. Legend had it that the recipe was handed down through generations, carefully guarded, and passed on only to a chosen few. The villagers took great pride in their culinary heritage, and the fugascina became an integral part of their identity.
The arrival of spring, and as a symbol of good luck
The fugascina was not merely a cake; it was a symbol of celebration and tradition. Each year, as the seasons transitioned from winter to spring, the people of Mergozzo would come together to honor the feast of Santa Elisabetta on July 4th. This festive occasion provided the perfect opportunity to indulge in the heavenly taste of the fugascina.
The cakes were meticulously prepared using a special technique. A fragrant vanilla and Marsala-infused shortcrust pastry was carefully crafted, ensuring a delicate and flavorful base. The surface of the fugascina was adorned with a crispy layer of granulated sugar and egg whites, adding a delightful texture to each bite.
As the years passed, the fame of the fugascina spread beyond the borders of Mergozzo. Travelers from far and wide would make pilgrimages to the village, eager to taste this culinary masterpiece. The popularity of the fugascina grew, and it became a symbol of Piedmontese gastronomy.
In recognition of its cultural significance and traditional preparation, the fugascina di Mergozzo was granted the esteemed title of Prodotto Agroalimentare Tradizionale (Traditional Agri-Food Product) in April 2002. This official recognition solidified the fugascina's place in culinary history and ensured its continued legacy.
So, if you find yourself wandering through the picturesque village of Mergozzo, don't miss the opportunity to taste the exquisite fugascina. It is a journey through time, a celebration of tradition, and a sweet indulgence that will leave an everlasting impression on your palate.
For the pastry:
- 400 grams (14 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 200 grams (7 ounces) unsalted butter, cold and diced
- 150 grams (5.3 ounces) granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons Marsala wine
- Zest of 1 lemon
- A pinch of salt
For the topping:
- 1 egg white, lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, cold diced butter, granulated sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, Marsala wine, lemon zest, and a pinch of salt.
- Mix the ingredients together using your hands or a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- Gather the mixture into a ball and knead it lightly until it forms a smooth dough. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of about 1/2 cm (1/4 inch). Cut the dough into rectangular or square shapes.
- Transfer the cut dough onto the prepared baking tray, leaving a small gap between each piece.
- Brush the surface of the dough with the beaten egg white, and sprinkle granulated sugar over the top.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 15-18 minutes or until the surface is golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and let the fugascine cool completely on a wire rack.
- Once cooled, the fugascine di Mergozzo is ready to be enjoyed. Serve them with a cup of tea, or coffee, or as a delightful snack.
Note: The addition of Marsala wine adds a distinct flavor to the fugascina di Mergozzo. Adjust the amount of Marsala wine according to your preference, keeping in mind that it should enhance the overall taste without overpowering it. Enjoy!