Corsica by Nicolas Stromboni

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Imbrucciate

Corsica is an island, a mountain, a plain and a succession of partitioned valleys… sitting in the middle of Mediterranean’ writes Nicolas Stromboni, author of this impressive book on Corsican food and culture.

Since he not only lives in this paradise, but also looks after the largest wine cellar on the island, Stromboni can be considered a man blessed both by geography and circumstance. And sharing that good luck is the declared aim here. Corsica is  divided into  chapters on The Pig, Fruits of the Sea, Meat, Fruit and Veg, Desserts, Corsican knives, Herbs, people  and so on and includes a history of Corsican wine, Corsican growers and a wine map.

Great photography, some intriguing  recipes (gambari in aqua vita, veal and figatellu pie, impurate, murtoli tart, chestnut flour flan) and an easy accessible style make this a good introduction to a less well-known part of  southern Europe. Imbrucciate is a recipe that makes use of the iconic Corsican Brocciu whey cheese. Stromboni suggests a two-to-three year old Muscat du Cap Course from Domaine Marengo to drink with the results…


Imbrucciate

Makes 8-10

  • 1kg brocciu cheese, or ricotta
  • 300g sugar plus extra for sprinkling
  • 2 eggs
  • zest of one orange
  • 190ml grape eau de vie or brandy
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten

for the pastry

  • 250g plain flour
  • 5g baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 150g butter cut into cubes
  • 1 egg

To make the pastry: combine the flour salt and baking powder in a bowl, add the butter and egg and mix well until a dough forms. Set aside in the fridge for at least 2 hours

Meanwhile,  mash the brocciu or ricotta in a bowl with a fork, mix in the sugar, whole eggs and orange zest, then add a splash of  eau de vie. Set aside to rest for 30mins

Preheat the oven to 180c. Roll out the chilled pastry and cut out 8 – 10 discs using a 14cm cookie cutter. Fold up the sides of each disc, pinching them to make small pastry cases. Fill the pastry containers with the brocciu mix and sprinkle over a little sugar. Place the imbrucciate on a baking sheet and bake for about 20 mins until the crust is light brown. About 5 mins before the end, use a pastry brush to glaze the imbrucciate with a little egg yolk. Cool before serving


Corsica by Nicolas Stromboni, Smith Street Books, £30