Zito (Zhito/Koljivo) - Serbian Wheat Pudding
"This simple, hearty dessert of cooked, ground wheat fortified with ground nuts and sugar is central to Serbian culture. It symbolizes life and death, harvest and renewal, and is presented at certain special occasions: Slava (the family's saint day), Christmas, and memorial services. Serve by the heaping tablespoon in very small, decorative bowls, like custard cups, topped with a dollop of whipped cream."
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Ingredients9 h servings 172
Original recipe yields 24 servings (3 cups)
- Bring a kettle of water to boil. Continue to refill and heat as needed as the source for water in boiling the wheat.
- Place wheat berries in a 2- to 3-quart saucepan. Cover with water, about two inches above the level of the berries. Bring to a rolling boil and let boil for 15 seconds. Drain; discard water.
- Add new water to the wheat, the same amount as before. Repeat until you've brought wheat and water to a boil seven times. During the seventh boil, add the salt. Do not drain.
- Remove the pan from the heat, cover, and wrap with towels (see Cook's Note). Let rest at room temperature overnight.
- The next day, drain any water that hasn't been absorbed overnight. Grind the wheat berries thoroughly in a food processor or a meat grinder. (If you use a blender, you must work in very small batches.) Transfer wheat to a bowl and set aside. Grind the walnuts until fine; add the confectioners' sugar and process until nuts form a fine meal. Add the ground wheat and pulse until mixed.
- Spoon koljivo into a serving dish, preferably a clear glass trifle bowl with straight sides. Garnish by sticking slivered almonds all over the top, like a porcupine.
- Whip the cream in a glass or metal bowl with electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Serve by the heaping tablespoon in small decorative bowls or custard cups, topped with a dollop of whipped cream.
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- Cook's Notes:
- White wheat is preferable to hard red winter wheat berries. You could also substitute whole spelt berries or farro.
- After cooking the wheat, I place the pot on a blanket on an armchair or couch. I pack it all around with blankets and pillows and let it sit overnight.
Per Serving: 172 calories; 10.9 17.9 3.1 3 16 Full nutrition
ReviewsRead all reviews 2
I tried this one as part of a challenge, and glad that I did! I used Farro that I got from the missing ingredient site here in Canada, and followed the steps pretty much to the letter... but did...