Chestnut Pie: Another all natural, healthy, sugarless, yeast-free dessert


A commitment-inducing food:

A romantic legend has it that the fragrant rosemary needles on top of the castagnaccio imparted love potion powers to this food, so that  if a girl prepared and offered this cake to a young man, he would fall in love with her and asked her hand in marriage. Worth trying.


  • 750 ml water 750
  • 500 gr chestnut flour (chestnut trees are very common in this area)
  • 6 teaspoons olive oil (the base of everything!)
  • 100 grams each of pine nuts and walnuts (again, fruits of local trees)
  • 80 grams of raisins (from wine grapes)
  • a handful of rosemary needles (indigenous, ever-green ice sturdy shrub). Take the needles from the rosemary stick only just before baking, to preserve all the fragrance.


Preheat oven at 200 C., about 30 minutes before use. Soak raisins in warm water and strain the flour, to which you will add a good pinch of salt.
Grind roughly most of the nuts, but save a few for decoration.
Add water to flour and whisk into a smooth mix.
Now squeeze excess water from raisins, and add them – and the nuts – into the mixture.
Pour and spread the oil into a low baking tray, then pour the mixture in, to a 1/2 inch thickness.
Sprinkle the whole nuts and raisins and the rosemary needles on top, now pour 2 more spoons of olive oil.
Your “castagnaccio” will be ready in 30 minutes, or when the top is full of crevices and the pinenuts are golden.
And now a bit or culinary terrorism:
– According to the purists, the baking  tray should be of tin plated copper.
– Good chestnut flour is not available before mid november and is very fine and naturally sweet. As usual: go for the best quality you can get your hands on. Worth going to a specialty shop and pay a little extra.
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