The crushed grape, or schiaccia all'uva, is a typical Tuscan dessert, of peasant origin. In the past it was prepared only in the period of greatest ripeness of the fruit, or in September. Today, thanks to the grapes that are imported from other areas of the world, it is possible to have the grapes ripe for many months a year, and therefore this dessert can be prepared more often. The original recipe includes only simple and easy to find ingredients: bread dough, sugar, olive oil, and black grapes. In ancient times only one variety was used, called canaiola, which was not very suitable for winemaking. Today many prepare this dessert with the strawberry variety, which tastes much sweeter than the table varieties, or even with any type found in the supermarket. The grapes must be strictly black, because the cooked grains release a dark juice, which makes the dessert more appetizing.
The traditional recipe
Traditionally, bread dough was used, the one prepared for the family, or even the dough purchased by the baker still raw for a few lucky ones. Little sugar is added to the bread dough because the fruit is already sweet and sugary, and a little oil, to make it more like a focaccia. For about 800 g of already leavened bread dough, about one kg of black wine grapes are used, as sweet and ripe as possible, with not too large grains. In the preparation of the bread, about 200 g of granulated sugar are added, and half of the dough is spread on a well greased baking tray with Tuscan oil; About two thirds of the grains are crushed on the dough, trying to make them sink slightly; it is covered with the remaining bread dough and with the remaining grains, and the cake is greased well; those who wish can also add a few leaves of rosemary, or some aniseed. Everything goes in a hot oven, at 180 ° C, for about an hour. Crushes are eaten warm or cold, if you can wait.
The modern recipe
If you want, you can go to the baker to have the bread dough sold, to which you will add the sugar, and then let it rise again before mixing it with the grains. 500 g of flour, 250 g of water, 150 g of sugar and a pinch of salt are used, to which are added 25 g of yeast in a stick, or 12 g of dry yeast. Mix everything for at least 15 minutes, until a smooth and homogeneous dough is obtained, which must be left to rise until it has doubled, keeping it in a warm place and away from drafts. In the meantime, wash well a kg of black grapes, for wine or at the table, depending on what you found at the greengrocer, and if you prefer you can also use the strawberry variety, which has a particular flavor. Take the dough and cut it in half; roll it out to a height of about a centimeter or so, and place it in an oven mold, with the bottom closed; place the washed grains on top, and another layer of pasta. Finish with more grapes, a sprinkling of sugar and polishing oil. Bake in the oven for about an hour.
Such a simple dessert can obviously be modified in a thousand ways. On the island of Elba, at the baker, you can find a very good crushed grape made in a single layer, with a generous sprinkling of sugar on top, which makes it almost caramelized. The crushed oil can be flavored by heating it slightly and infusing the aromas you prefer, even if generally rosemary leaves or aniseed are used; for the sweet tooth you can add the seeds of a vanilla bean to the mixture, which add aroma to the dessert. Gourmets can prepare a pastry for brioches instead of bread; butter and eggs are added to the mixture of flour, yeast, water and sugar, obtaining a soft and light mass. It is important that the butter is of excellent quality. The result is a delicious flatbread, with a fragrant and slightly crunchy crust.