Cathy's Kitchen Prescription LLC
Rustic Grape Torte (oil, dairy, sugar & salt-free)
Makes one 9x13" tri-layer torte
Prep time = 1-2 days Baking time = 45-60 minutes
A festive, tasty, nutritious dessert bread made from just a few simple ingredients - whole wheat bread dough, plum paste & a mixed variety of table grapes. The carmelized grape juices soften & permeate the layers, creating a moist, tender, delicious, healthy treat for breakfast, brunch, & afternoon tea.
Grapes, the star of this show, are powerfully beneficial: Loaded with 19-known health-promoting
phytonutrients & multiple antioxidants like resveratrol, quercetin & melatonin, grapes are also packed with fiber, vitamins K, B1, 2 & 6, C, & minerals potassium, phosporus, magnesium, manganese, iron & copper. A low glycemic food, grapes are surely a "wunderfood", protecting against inflammation, free-radical damage, & slowing cellular aging.
½ tsp dry commercial yeast
1 cup unchlorinated water, body temp
Up to 2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 small banana, mashed to a smooth pulp
2 cups dried plums for plum paste
3-4 lbs of mixed seedless red & black grapes, well rinsed
Directions Prebake 1 hr at 100°F/38°C Preheat for 30 minutes at 400°F/200°C
1-2 days before baking, add warm water to a medium mixing bowl & sprinkle yeast over it. Wait 10 minutes before mixing in banana pulp. Slowly add flour, mixing until you achieve a wet, sticky dough. Rest dough 10 minutes. With a dough scraper, transfer to a floured board, knead for 8 minutes, adding only enough flour as needed to avoid excessive sticking to the board. Flatten, stretch & fold dough in thirds, 3-4 times, rotating 90° each time. Lightly flour & return to bowl. Cover with a tight-fitting lid or plastic wrap & refrigerate to mature over 24-36 hours. During this period remove dough once or twice to flatten, stretch & fold a few times to strengthen the dough & develop its crumb. Add only as much flour as required to handle with a scraper. Return to fridge.
Create plum paste: Cut dried plums in quarters. Add to a bowl & pour in just enough boiling water to cover. Soak until soft. Alternatively, microwave for 1-2 minutes. Cool. Process with soaking water in a food processor until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl periodically. If too dense to spread easily, add a little water. Set aside.
Slice grapes in half lengthwise.
Allow dough to come to room temp over 3 hrs or place in a 100°F/38°C oven for 1 hr. Stretch, fold, flour a few more times. Divide in thirds & keep covered with wrap. On a floured board, roll out one third to 1/8” thick rectangle. Trim to fit a 9x13” lasagna pan. Line with parchment if metal. No need if pyrex or ceramic.
Transfer dough to pan, retrim any excess due to stretching. Coat with a thin layer of plum paste. Add two layers of grapes, packed closely together. Repeat for 2nd layer. Top with final dough layer & spread plum paste. Top with grapes, placed cut side down & spaced about 1” apart.
Bake for 45-60 minutes or until grapes have collapsed, juices are released & bubbling. Remove, brush released juices over the top of the fruit & crust, & continue to bake until crust is golden & glossy. Remove to a rack. Rebrush juices of top fruit & crust. Cool.
This rustic bread is best enjoyed the day AFTER it is baked, which affords the dough time to absorb the delicious complex elixir of carmelized fruit juices & to become soft, tender & easy to cut (...that is, if you can wait!). And if you find you're left with a little excess dough & grapes, roll out the dough, cut out with decorative cutters, smear on some plum paste, top with a grape & bake 5-6 minutes for some delightful little cookies!
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