Gubana di Pasta Sfogliata

Puff Pastry Gubana

Since there are different names for this dessert and the terminology can be confusing, I choose to call it merely puff pastry gubana. Depending on the location, the yeast-risen Gubana on is referred to as either presnitz or potitza. All three names — gubana, presnitz, and potitza — signify filled pastries that are rolled into a spiral to be baked; they may be made with a yeast dough or puff pastry. This version is supposedly a specialty of Cividale, the town where the yeast dough gubana was popularized, though I have seen it only in pastry shops in nearby Udine. Terminology and origin aside, it is a delicious pastry.

Ingredients

    Filling

  • ¾ cup golden raisins
  • ¾ cup dark raisins
  • ¾ cup dried figs, stemmed and diced
  • ½ cup dark rum
  • 1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • cup pine nuts
  • 2 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • ¾ cup dry bread or cake crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 large egg

    Egg Wash

  • 1 large egg
  • Pinch salt

Method

Roll out the pasta sfogliata on a floured surface into a 10 × 20-inch rectangle. Slide the dough onto a cookie sheet and refrigerate it while preparing the filling.

For the filling, place the raisins and figs in a saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Drain and place in a bowl and cover with the rum. Allow to stand several hours or overnight covered with plastic wrap. Stir in the remaining filling ingredients.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and place it on a cloth. Spread the dough evenly with the filling and roll it up like a strudel. Make sure the end is on the bottom. Pull to lengthen slightly and arrange in the form of a snug spiral in a buttered 9-inch springform pan. For the egg wash, whisk the egg and salt together, and paint the top of the gubana with it.

Bake the gubana at 325 degrees for about 1 hour, until it is a deep gold and well baked through. Cool in the pan on a rack.

Release the sides of the springform pan and slide the gubana onto a platter. Dust with the confectioners’ sugar before serving.

Confectioners’ sugar for finishing

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