Frustingalo -- Fruit and Nut Cake




1/3 cup blanched slivered almonds
2-1/2 cup dry red wine
2 tbsp. 1/2 plus cup sugar
2 cups dried figs
1/2 cup golden raisins
Warm water
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup chopped candied citron
3 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate, grated
2 tbsp. honey
3/4 cup all-purpose white flour
1/2 cup fine dry unseasoned breadcrumbs
1 tbsp. grated orange zest
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. grated nutmeg
1/4 cup olive oil


Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour an 8½ inch spring form pan. Spread almonds in a baking pan and bake for 5-8 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool and chop coarsely. Increase oven to 375°F.

In a small saucepan, combine wine with 2 tablespoons of sugar. Boil for about 15 minutes, or reduced to approximately ¾ cup. Let cool.

Moisten and plump dried figs in boiling water for about 15 minutes. Drain, and chop coarsely. Plump raisins in warm water about 5 minutes. Drain all water.

In a large bowl combine almonds, figs, raisins, walnuts, citron, chocolate and honey. Mix all dry ingredients in a smaller bowl. Add gradually to the almond-fruit mixture. Gradually stir in the olive oil and reduced wine to the mixture. Spoon into the prepared pan and smooth top with a spoon.

Bake for 40-50 minutes or until the cake is firm to the touch. Let cool in the pan on a rack. Cover and let stand overnight to allow the flavor to deepen before serving.

Author's Comments

This old world recipe has its origins in the Lenten, Advent or any other fasting season. “Cucina di Magro”, or lean cooking is considered the diet for these fasting seasons, and the Fig and nut cake goes well as the fruits and nuts are associated with Lent. An extremely thin slice of the Frustingolo is all that is needed to end the meal.

From my cookbook: The "Old Country" Italian Cookbook, by Donald J.P. La Marca

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1 Recipe Reviews


janop reviewed Frustingalo -- Fruit and Nut Cake on December 9, 2017

I have not made it, but a friend of mine did and it is delicious. She calls it Italian fruitcake and I thought I would not like it as I really love traditional fruitcake, but it was truly fabulous.