Semolina Cake with Candied Fruit

(Budino di Semolino con Canditi)

This coffee cake-like budino (literally, pudding) is studded with candied fruit.

Semolina Cake with Candied Fruit
This coffee cake-like budino (literally, pudding) is studded with candied fruit.
Yield: serves 12

Ingredients

  • 4 cups golden raisins
  • 14 cup port
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 4 tbsp. fine dry bread crumbs
  • 3 12 cups milk
  • 1 cup semolina
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 12 cup sugar
  • 7 oz. assorted candied fruit, such as apricots, orange peel, peaches, and prunes, pitted and diced
  • 1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp. pine nuts
  • 1 oz. candied orange peel strips
  • 2 oz. candied cherries

Instructions

  1. Macerate raisins in port for 4–8 hours. Grease a 10-cup tube pan with 1 tbsp. of the butter, dust with bread crumbs, and set aside.
  2. Bring milk and remaining butter to a boil in a heavy medium pot over medium heat. Gradually add semolina, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Reduce heat to low and slowly cook semolina, stirring occasionally, until mixture pulls away from bottom of pot, forming a rough ball, and is slightly moist to the touch, 1 hour. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°.
  3. Put egg yolks and sugar into a medium bowl, beat with an electric mixer on high speed until pale yellow, 2–3 minutes, then stir into cooled semolina. Add raisins and port, assorted candied fruits, lemon zest, and pine nuts and stir well. Beat egg whites in another medium bowl on medium-high speed until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes, then fold into batter. Evenly spread batter in prepared pan.
  4. Bake cake until golden brown and a wooden skewer inserted in center comes out clean , 75-90 minutes. Immediately unmold cake onto a cooling rack. Decorate top of cake with candied orange peel strips and cherries. Serve warm or at room temperature with wedges of candied orange, if you like.