Le Marche might be one of Italy's least-travelled reaches. Poised between the northern and southern Italian worlds, bordered by Abruzzo, Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany and Umbria, it's a wild land, rugged and largely unspoilt. Frustingo, fittingly enough, is thought to be one of the oldest recipes handed down by the Etruscans. You'll need to begin this recipe a day ahead.
- 450 gm dried figs
- 80 gm seedless raisins
- 120 gm mixed nuts, such as natural almonds, walnuts or hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
- 60 gm dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), coarsely chopped
- 30 gm cedro, diced (see note)
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- ½ tsp each ground cinnamon and finely grated nutmeg
- Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
- 50 ml extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp fine fresh breadcrumbs
- For dusting: Dutch-process cocoa
- 1Combine figs, raisins and enough warm water to cover generously in a bowl and stand overnight to soften.
- 2Preheat oven to 180C. Drain fig mixture, squeeze out excess water and coarsely chop figs. Combine figs and raisins in a bowl with nuts, chocolate, cedro, honey, sugar, spices and lemon rind. Stir in olive oil, then breadcrumbs, and spoon into a 20cm-square cake tin lined with baking paper. Bake until golden (25-30 minutes), then refrigerate until cool and firm (2-3 hours). Remove from tin, dust with cocoa, cut into fingers and serve. Frustingo will keep in an airtight container for 2 weeks.
Cedro, the glacé fruit of the citron tree, is available from Simon Johnson, David Jones and select delicatessens. If it's unavailable, substitute candied orange peel or candied lemon peel.
This recipe is from the April 2012 issue of