In the last chapter of Hangman's Root, China, Ruby, Smart Cookie, and the Whiz gather around the kitchen table to speculate about the future of Dotty and her rescued guinea pigs. As they talk, they munch on pieces of castagnaccio, a flat, crusty cake that comes from Tuscany. The traditional recipe calls for chestnut flour, but China uses ground pecans instead. This recipe makes two cakes, the surface of which will be cracked and strange-looking. Be brave. It tastes good.
- ¼ c raisins
- 1 lb nut flour
- 4 cups cold water
- 1 tblsp rosemary leaves, chopped fine
- 2 tblsp olive oil
- 2 tblsp honey
- 1/3 c chopped nuts (pecans or almonds)
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tblsp rosemary leaves, whole
Heat your oven to 375 degrees. Generously oil two glass or ceramic pie pans with olive oil. Soak the raisins in warm water for 10 minutes, drain and press out the water. Put the nut flour into a large bowl and add the cold water, a cup at a time. Add drained raisins, chopped rosemary, half the olive oil, honey, nuts, and salt. Mix well. Divide and place in the pie pans, patting into shape. Sprinkle each cake with the whole rosemary leaves. Bake for 75 minutes, until the top is crispy.