Saturday, July 4, 2009

Torta di Mele (Italian apple torte)

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Desserts | Torta di Mele Image

Torta di mele is a typical Tuscan dessert. Tuscans are known for finding all kinds of ways to use up leftover bread, and day-old bread is best for this recipe. Because this torte contains an egg custard, leftovers should be refrigerated.

6-8 servings

  • Good quality bread, crust removed, cubed -- about 3 cups
  • Milk -- 2 cups
  • Butter -- 1 tablespoon
  • Eggs, beaten -- 3
  • Sugar -- 1/3 cup
  • Flour -- 3 tablespoons
  • Lemon, zest only -- 1
  • Salt -- 1/4 teaspoon
  • Vanilla -- 1/2 teaspoon
  • Apples, peeled, cored and sliced into wedges -- 3 or 4

  1. Soak the bread in 1 cup of the milk for about 20 minutes. Work well with your hands to form a sort of doughy paste. Squeeze out any excess milk and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Butter a 9-inch cake, torte or springform pan with the butter. Press bread paste into the bottom of the pan to form a crust.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the remaining 1 cup of milk, sugar, flour, lemon zest, salt and vanilla.
  4. Lay the apples overlapping in concentric circles over the bread crust. Pour enough of the egg-milk mixture over the apples to cover them about halfway (you may not need all of the liquid).
  5. Place in the oven and bake for 45-60 minutes. Turn pan once during the baking for even browning.
  6. Remove from oven, cool and remove from the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.
  • Torta di Pere (Pear torte): Substitute pears for the apples. Sprinkle a few plump raisins over the top before baking.
  • Mix a little nutmeg into the egg-milk mixture if you like.

Credit by what4eats

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