Torta di mele (Apple Torte)

A quick post as we prepare to batten down the hatches before Sandy hits town:

Here’s a homely version of an apple torte that could hardly be easier. And believe me, if a non-baker like myself can make this with no trouble at all, you will, too. You just make a simple batter in your trusty mixer, fold in apple slices, pour everything into a springform baking pan and bake for about an hour in a moderate oven. That’s literally all there is to it. The result is something moister and denser—and, to my mind, much tastier—than a cake, but not really a pie, either. A more rustic cousin to the French clafoutis, not very elegant perhaps, but very tasty and comforting on a chilly Autumn day. A perfect, no-fuss dish for family and close friends.


For the batter:
2 eggs
200g (7 oz) sugar
100g (3-1/2 oz) melted butter
200ml (6 oz) milk
1 Tb. of baking powder

Grated zest of a small lemon
A few drops of vanilla extract
A tiny pinch of salt
200g (8 oz) flour

5 medium apples (about 700g/1-1/2 lbs)

More sugar for topping

Powdered sugar
Cinnamon, to taste
Sliced almonds or other nuts
Raisins or other dried fruits


First, make the batter: This is most easily done with a standing mixer. Whisk the eggs and sugar together until they are well amalgamated. Add the rest of the batter ingredients ingredients other than the flour and let them mix together well. Now add the flour in a thin stream to the liquid while the mixer is still running. Once all the flour has been incorporated, raise the speed as high as it will go to eliminate any lumps. The resulting batter should be pourable but thick, something like a very thick pancake batter.

Peel and core the apples, one by one, and slice them into thin wedges. Add the sliced apples to the mixing bowl as you go, folding them into the batter.

Pour the apple batter into a springform baking pan, which you will have greased very generously with butter. Even out the top with a spatula and clean off the sides. Sprinkle the top with granulated sugar.

Place the pan in a pre-heated moderate (180C/350F) oven for about an hour, until the torta is cooked through and the top is nice and brown. (You can test doneness by sticking a skewer into the torta; if it comes out clean, it’s done.)

Remove the pan from the oven and let it cool on a rack before serving.

If you like, for a fancier presentation, you can sprinkle the top of the torta with some powdered sugar.


This is a great recipe for using extra apples that may have gotten past their prime. The choice of apple is yours, but I’d recommend a crisp but not too tart apple for this dish. If your apples are a bit tart, you can slice them beforehand, and macerate them in sugar and a few drops of lemon juice. This will soften both their texture and flavor. If you want some crunch in your torta, you can add a few sliced almonds or other nuts to the batter along with the sliced apples. Raisins or other dried fruits would do very nicely as well. The same recipe lends itself nicely to pears and other seasonal fruits as well.

A nice slice of torta di mele makes a wonderful dessert, or snack, or breakfast along with your morning cappuccino. For a more elegant apple dessert, you might like to try our crostata di mele.

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19 Responses to “Torta di mele (Apple Torte)”

  1. MaryAlice Denson
    12 January 2014 at 21:14 #

    I am going to make this with the last of the apples sitting outside the back door. I now find there is no way to add it to my recipe box, which I’d like to do. Any hints?

  2. Sue Germain
    26 May 2013 at 10:11 #

    Hi Frank, I have been following & using your website for sometime. I had read the About some time ago but for some reason I had it in my head you were female, until today when I came back to the site for the apple torte. I have made it before & it is great. I guess getting old does stuff to your brain, sorry. I have made several of your recipes & one of my favorite is the simple Sunday Sauce. My husband & I are not Italian but we love Italian food, especially homemade. My husband is Cuban but came to the US in the 60s, so I have also learned to make many Hispanic dishes as well. I am Irish, Scottish, and Native American. We live in Miami, Fl., and there is an Italian restaurant on almost every corner but we have found only two authentic Italian restaurant in this entire county. Unfortunately one of these restaurants closed their doors, so now when we want Italian I visit your site. I love the background and history of the dishes. Thanks so much for creating the site & sharing these wonderful dishes with us.

  3. 4 December 2012 at 10:55 #

    une délicieuse recette, merci

  4. 22 November 2012 at 08:29 #

    Hello Frank I really like your blog, follow you for a while. ‘
    Thank you for this recipe, it is fantastic! I’ve already done twice and everyone liked, I put the recipe in my blog with the link to your original recipe, I hope you do not mind.
    Excuse my English but I’m using the Google translator.
    See you soon,

    • 23 November 2012 at 12:24 #

      Thanks for your readership, Barbara! I checked out your site and it looks wonderful. So many thanks for the link.

  5. 6 November 2012 at 08:07 #

    Frank, yes, I did see your move and was so glad for you, also your timing was perfect as I had chose the same mag style theme too – I have change it to another one though… love your new site and I have so many questions for you…wish I could email you… I have decided to take my time in moving over to wp (since I have so little of it)
    now, I like this pie, clafoutis, torte – whatever ya call it – I call it good eating….

  6. 30 October 2012 at 17:22 #

    This cake looks delicious!

  7. 29 October 2012 at 20:15 #

    This recipe is very similar to one I have recently discovered on a different blog. It’s for a pear cake. It’s really delicious so I can’t wait to try this one, too.
    By the way, I had trouble getting the recipe to print. When I clicked above on the button for share and then clicked on “print:” I got lots of unnecessary pages (9 pages!) from the blog. Is it my printer or is it the way the share button is set up?

  8. 29 October 2012 at 13:40 #

    This looks great and something easy and fast to make. A cuppa’ would go great with a slice of this.
    Love the new site. I am starting my move to WordPress soon and looking forward to more control and actually cleaning out the trash.

    • 4 November 2012 at 10:21 #

      Thanks, Susan! I think you’ll like it once you make the switch!

  9. 29 October 2012 at 07:22 #

    Frank, another one of your lovely treats, grazie. Hope you all will be safe and…….happy haloween! Ciao Carina

    • 4 November 2012 at 10:20 #

      Thanks, Carina! All was well here. We were very lucky!

  10. 29 October 2012 at 01:24 #

    Yuuuuuuuum! omg. its looks AMAZING.

  11. Raffaella Favretti
    28 October 2012 at 17:31 #

    Take care and keep safe!

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