Saint Blaise’s pie – Torta di San Biagio

Saint Blaise’s pie (Torta di San Biagio) is a traditional chocolate and almond cake. It was first created in Cavriana, a small village in the hills north-east of Mantova, not too far away from the southern shore of Lake Garda.
This round-shaped cake features a friable, unleavened pastry, and the brown colour of the almond and chocolate filling can be seen through the lattice top of the pie.
From 2nd to 4th February, a festival is held in Cavriana to celebrate the feast of Saint Blaise (San Biagio in Italian). It is a tradition over than 450 years old, which centers around local wine and food. On February 3rd, an ancient ritual takes place: “Al dì ‘d San Bias as benedis la gola e ‘l nas” (“On Saint Blaise’s day, throats and noses are blessed”). In other words, the priest gives the blessing of throats, by using two candles joined together in the form of a cross and placed near the throat of the recipient. That’s why people from Mantova always turn to Saint Blaise when they have a cold or the flu during winter months.
Torta di San Biagio is the queen of Saint Blaise’s feast, when it’s usually baked and offered to the believers. Legend has it that in olden times this pie used to have a 3-meter diameter.
Pairings: Torta di San Biagio tastes even better if paired with a glass of red Passito delle Colline Moreniche Mantovane.

Saint Blaise’s pie
Saint Blaise’s pie
Ingredients – serves 6

    Pastry dough:

  • 400g “00” flour
  • 80g sugar
  • 80g butter
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 packet of vanilla powder
  • Filling:

  • 300g almonds
  • 100g sugar
  • 100g dark chocolate
  • 2 eggs

We recommend using fresh ingredients.

How to bake Torta di San Biagio

  • Put the flour on a pastry board. Add sugar, softened butter, vanilla powder and grated lemon zest. Knead with care.
  • Cover the bottom and the sides of a greased cake pan with 2/3 of pastry dough.
  • Prepare the filling, mixing crushed almonds, sugar, eggs and grated dark chocolate.
  • Put the filling in the cake pan, level and use the remaining dough to make a lattice top.
  • Preheat the oven to 150° C and bake the pie for 30 minutes.
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