Historic notes mention Emperor’s presnac was served for the first time in Pula on 9th November 1856, when the empress Sissi, escorted by the emperor Franz Joseph I laid down the ground stone for the Arsenal district. Numerous renowned and unknown visitors enjoyed this particular dessert later in 15 coffee shops in Pula. Among them, first in Pula, and then later in Opatija, was also James Joyce.
Prepared from seasonal nut fruits, presnac presented a significant step forward compared to a poor peasant recipe, and with its appearance and ingredients it irresistibly reminded of an Austrian strudel. In late XIX ct. it was particularly popular in the area of Liburnia, where it was tasted in the Hotel Kronprinzessin Stephanie – contemporary Imperial Hotel, by the German emperor Wilhelm I, Romanian royal couple Karol I and Elizabeth, ballerina Isadora Duncan, writer A. P. Czechow and others.
Recipe for this remarkable tasting event is brought to us by Lidia M.
500 g (17.50 oz) frozen puff pastry
100 g (3.50 oz) ground walnuts
100 g (3.50 oz) ground almonds
50 g (1.75 oz) ground (integral) cookies
1-2 tablespoons of ground carobs
50 g (1.75 oz) sugar
50 g (1.75 oz) powder chocolate
1 teaspoon powder cinnamon
a pinch of powder cloves
a pinch of ground nutmeg
a pinch of salt
50 g (1.75 oz) raisins
50 g (1.75 oz) dried figs or apricots
several sticks of chopped candied orange
100 ml (3.40 fl oz) of prošek (Dalmatian dessert wine)
1 tablespoon plum jam or apricot jam
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Mix the ground walnuts, almonds, cookies, carobs with sugar, powder chocolate and seasonings, add raisins and sliced dried figs.
In a small bowl cook prošek with plum jam, pour over mix that you just prepared and mix it all well.
Roll the defrosted puff pastry on a flat floured surface to the size of 22×32 cm/8.66×12.60 in, x2, and distribute the stuffing on the longer side. Roll the strudel with the linked part turned downwards, close the edges, and then gently position in a spiral. Prick the pastry in several places with a fork.
Bake in a pan lined with baking paper, in an oven previously heated to 200°C (392°C) on the second level from the bottom, for about 35 minutes, until it becomes golden brown.
Sprinkle the cooled presnac with powder sugar and slice.
Serve with a glass of prošek or some other dessert wine.
You can reduce the amount of prošek by half, and replace it by the same amount of squeezed orange juice.