For the complete roundup of this IMBB edition, please go to Elise's summary.
...or "Never trust a recipe only because it comes from a three starred Michelin chef".
Sooner or later it had to happen. Having had a successful run of recipe tried and tested for IMBB up to now it was inevitable that a dud would show up.
Soon after reading what theme Elise had picked up for this edition, I decided to make a traditional sweet of the Italian Lombardy region, sugolo or suc. Sugolo is a pudding typical of vintage time, one of the many ways to use of any grapes left over from wine-making: a custrad-jelly relying on the gelling power of pectin, from the grapes, and starch, added in the form of flour.
It is one of the sweets my father grew up with, and he would occasionally prepare it for us, though me and my brothers were never huge fans. I thought that after so many years this would have been a great chance to renew acquaintances with this dish. So I decided to use the recipe appearing in dal Pescatore's cookbook: if I was going to do sugolo I would do one with a pedigree.
I should have gotten suspicious by reading the recipe. Actually, while I read the ingredient list the 250 grams of flour per liter of clear grape juice obtained did turn on my alarm bells, but a timely phone call made me rapidly forget my doubts. Probably the 250 were meant to be 25, typos happen even in top chef's books. It doesn't diminish how annoyed I was however. Fact is that I ended up with something resembling very closely flour glue, grape flavored flour glue that is. And looking incredibly like something a surgeon would use as a breast implant.
Below you'll find the corrected recipes, which combines the method used at dal Pescatore to get the grape juice and the flour amount most OTHER recipes and my father use. I haven't tried the whole recipe yet but will do soon (to get over the frustration I guess!) and update both pictures and post then.
Sugolo or Suc
About 3 kg grapes, carefully removed from their stem,
2 tablespoon of flour for every 250 ml of grape juice obtained (see below),
sugar if desired.
Blend the grapes until the skins are reduced to small pieces and then filter into a metal pot.
Boil the obtained juice for about ten minutes, constantly skimming to remove the foam that will form. If after this time you still have some scum on top of the juice, filter through a cheesecloth-lined sieve. Let cool to body temperature and transfer to a thick bottomed pot.
Measure the juice and calculate the needed amount of flour. Taste the juice to determine if it needs any sugar to your taste, if so add enough sugar to get the desired sweetness. Stir the flour into a little juice and then pour through a sieve into the remaining liquid.
Cook, constantly stirring, until the liquid thicken up to the consistency of pastry cream. Transfer to little pudding bowl or ramekins and let cool. Eat at room temperature or cold.