Gubana Cividalese

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recipe of the Month

Gubana Cividalese
(Cividale-Style Pastry Spiral)

Derived from the Slovene word guba, meaning “wrinkle” or “fold,” the name gubana is suggestive of the swirls and spirals in this sumptuous pastry. Filled with a mixture of dried fruit, nuts, and spices, gubana may be prepared with either a yeast-based dough (gubana delle Valli del Natisone) or puff pastry (gubana Cividalese). While literary sources date similar recipes to the Middle Ages and perhaps even the Romans, the first document to mention gubana by name was written in 1576. Since puff pastry required equipment and knowledge only available to the upper classes, gubana delle Valli del Natisone was the version typically prepared by peasants living in the valleys around the Natisone River, while gubana Cividalese was the aristocrat’s pastry of choice in the prominent city of Cividale. Originally baked only for holidays such as Christmas and Easter, gubana may now be enjoyed throughout the year.

Ingredients
Filling:
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup grappa or rum
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup blanched slivered almonds
3/4 cup finely crushed biscotti or amaretti cookies
1/2 cup diced candied orange peel
1/4 cup pine nuts
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 egg
• • •
Puff Pastry Dough:
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided and softened
1/4 cup cold water
• • •
1 egg, beaten to blend

For the Filling:
Place the raisins in a large bowl; add the grappa and let soak for 30 minutes.

Finely grind the walnuts and almonds in a food processor; add to the bowl of raisins. Stir in the crushed biscotti, candied orange peel, pine nuts, melted butter, sugar, cinnamon, and egg.

For the Dough:
In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt. Cut 2 tablespoons butter into cubes; blend into the flour mixture. Add 1/4 cup cold water; mix until crumbly. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead briefly. Flatten the dough to a 1/2-inch-thick disk. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Unwrap the dough and place on a lightly floured surface; roll to a 7-inch square. Roll the corners of the square away from the center to form four flaps, leaving a 3-inch square in the center at the original thickness. Beat the remaining 6 tablespoons butter with a rolling pin to form a 3-inch square; place in the center of the dough. Fold the flaps over to enclose the butter; turn the dough folded-side down. Roll to a 6- by 9-inch rectangle; fold in thirds (like a letter). Rotate the dough 90°. Roll again to a 6- by 9-inch rectangle; fold in thirds again. (This completes two “turns.”) Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Repeat rolling and folding the dough for two more turns. Wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Repeat rolling and folding the dough for two final turns. (This completes a total of six turns.) Wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before using.

To Prepare:
On a sheet of waxed paper, form the filling into a 12-inch log. Wrap securely in the waxed paper and refrigerate for 1 hour, or until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 400°F. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough to a 10- by 13-inch rectangle. Unwrap the filling and place along the center of the dough. Wrap the dough around the filling, tightly sealing all seams. Gently roll and stretch the dough into a 2-1/2-foot-long rope. Coil into a loose spiral and transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush the surface of the dough with beaten egg. Bake until golden brown, about 25–30 minutes.

Serves 10 to 12.