Imagine a soft cream made with white rice, dark chocolate, pinenuts, candied fruit, raisins and spices in a shortcrust pastry pie. It is called the "Torta co' bischeri" and it's a traditional cake of the Pisa province.
The "Torta co' bischeri” is originally from Pontasserchio, near Pisa, and it was first made around the beginning of the sixteenth century as an offering to the pilgrims who visited the town every April 28th for the feast of SS. Crucifix of Miracles. The famous Via Francigena passes through Italy, 400 kilometers (250 miles) of which are in Tuscany. In the past, when the pilgrims stopped in a city or small town, the local people treated them with respect. As well as accommodation the locals looked out for them and fed them.
This delicious cake is characterized by the folds of pastry dough made on the outer edge of it, which are called "bischeri" because they are similar in appearance to guitar tuning heads. Since 2007, it has had a quality brand with a rigorous specification, according to the area of production, the origin of raw materials and the requirement of specific pinenuts that must come from the Regional Park of Migliarino (Pisa).
You can surely find it in San Giuliano Terme and Vecchiano (Pisa) but if you’re too far away, you can try to make it at home with local ingredients. You can buy the shortcrust pastry at any supermarket, but if you're feeling adventurous :) here is the full recipe:
Preparing the filling
Making the dough
Assembling the cake