When the Panettone comes from le Marche
I think each of us, in his memories, preserve jealously few moments, made of words, gestures and emotions that warm up the heart and the soul. For me, many of these are related to the stories of my mother and my grandmother, two strong, courageous women who have left me many valuable lessons. On cold evenings in November and December, crunching some nuts, the mind often comes back to my childhood, when my grandmother started ask us to prepare the ingredients of the “Pizza Christmas”. Do you know it? I will tell you about it.
Nuts, figs, honey, almonds, candied fruit, chocolate … .the list of ingredients of the Christmas cake of my childhood is really infinite and the only evoke it reminds me of the incredible smells invading the kitchen when my grandmother gave the go-to ‘incredible preparation of “Pizza Christmas” a kind of panettone, typical of Macerata, inevitable on the table of the holidays.
Entire evenings devoted solely to the preparation of the ingredients, walnuts to be shelled, figs and candied fruit to be broken up, and yeast, only yeast, which my grandmother used with a dedication and a unique skill, working the dough several times during the night , to give to the sweet, full of delicious ingredients, the right consistency.
There is still some oven of the country and some sprightly old lady who, near Tolentino, Camerino and the border with Umbria, produces this typical Christmas sweet, almost impossible to find now.
For this the master pastry chef Roberto Cantolacqua could not surprise me better a few weeks ago, announcing that he had created the Panettone made in Marche, revisiting the recipe of his grandmother who obviously like mine, it had closely guarded the secrets.
When I finally managed to taste the surprise was even bigger! A soft and delicious dough (even Roberto uses only natural yeast for his leavened), a filling that is a true apotheosis of flavors, carefully measured for an amazing result. My grandmother Lisetta would be satisfied!
The imagination and creativity of Roberto Cantolacqua have created many variations of the typical sweet, from Traditional Panettone to the original with Apricots and Hazelnuts, but, as for me, I have no doubt: the Panettone from le Marche will be my Christmas Panettone!