Italian Charoset for Passover

Frankdessert, Piemonte28 Comments

Charoset

It may come as a surprise, but Italy has a long tradition of Jewish cookery. Jews have been living in Rome since ancient times. Jewish communities have long existed in other cities, perhaps most famously Venice, and even in small towns like Pitigliano in Tuscany, known as “the Little Jerusalem”. These communities produced a … Read More

Cantucci (Tuscan Almond Cookies)

Frankdessert, Toscana23 Comments

Cantucci

Cantucci, also known as biscotti di Prato, are perhaps the best known of Italian cookies. Made from a simple dough of flour, sugar and egg, into which whole almonds are folded, they are baked twice: once in cylindrical ‘logs’ to cook on the outside, then cut into sliced and baked again … Read More

Schiacciata all’uva (Tuscan Grape Focaccia)

Frankdessert, Fall, snack, Toscana39 Comments

Schiacciata all'uva

No one understands simplicity quite like the Tuscans. As Leonardo da Vinci famously said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”.  This rustic Grape Focaccia, which the Tuscans call Schiacciata all’uva, is a case in point. Almost austere in its simplicity, the result is nevertheless both beautiful and—if your ingredients are topnotch—unfailingly delicious. … Read More

Gelo di melone (Sicilian Watermelon Pudding)

Frankdessert, Sicilia, summer25 Comments

Watermelon Pudding (Gelo di melone)

Sicilian Watermelon Pudding, or gelo di melone, is made from watermelon juice, perfumed with cinnamon and jasmine blossoms, thickened and mixed with bits of chocolate—cut into little bits so they resemble watermelon seeds—and chilled until set. Served in dessert bowls or unmolded on to a plate, the pudding is then topped with ground … Read More

Sorbetto di limone (Lemon Sorbet)

Frankdessert, summer27 Comments

Sorbetto di limone

Along with gelato, sorbetto is *the* classic Italian frozen dessert. And perhaps the most basic. Sorbetto di limone is essentially frozen lemonade: Simple syrup is made by simmering sugar and water together, to which lemon zest is added and allowed to infuse its flavor. When this flavored syrup cools completely, it … Read More

Fragole all’aceto balsamico (Strawberries with Balsamic Vinegar)

Frankdessert, Emilia-Romagna40 Comments

Strawberries with Balsamic Vinegar

As I’ve written about before, dessert in our house tends to be nothing but a piece of fruit. But once in a while, I like to jazz things up a bit. And, truth be told, even if they usually look appetizing, most fruit in these times of industrial agriculture needs help in the … Read More

Strudel di mele (Apple Strudel)

FrankAlto Adige, dessert, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Veneto30 Comments

Strudel di mele

I first learned to make Strudel when I was living in Vienna, its birthplace. Strudel is also made in Italy, in particular in the Northeastern regions that were under Austrian rule, and most especially the region known to Italians as Alto Adige and to German speakers as Südtirol, which was … Read More

Panna cotta

Frankdessert, Piemonte19 Comments

Panna cotta

It may come as a surprise that this famous, elegant dessert from the Piemonte region of Italy is so very easy to make. Panna cotta, or “cooked cream”, is nothing but warmed (not actually cooked) cream sweetened with sugar and infused with vanilla, then thickened with gelatin and chilled. Traditionally served unmolded, you … Read More