La Torta co’ Bischeri

La Torta co’ Bischeri  Scalloped Pisa Pie Serves 8 This pie is a specialty of Lucca and Pisa.  Locals will tell you it was invented by a witch with a sweet tooth who longed for the best dessert in the world.  It was one of Byron’s favorite sweets during his stay in Pisa. La Pasta […]

La Torta di Fernanda Fernanda’s Pie Serves 8 This unusual pie is Lucca’s most famous dessert. Every family has its own secret recipe, and if you go to any country fair or church dinner, there will be as many versions of Fernanda’s pie as there are families participating. Ingredients: ½ recipe Pastry Crust (pg 127) […]

Mattonelle, Fichi, e Gorgonzola Brick Biscotti, Figs, and Gorgonzola Makes 40 Biscotti Arrange a plate of mattonelle with quartered fresh green figs. In the middle of each fig, place a nut-size chunk of sweet Gorgonzola. Gorgonzola isn’t a Tuscan cheese, and I never would have thought of pairing it with figs, let alone cookies. In […]

Non Brutti, Ma Buoni Not Ugly, But Good Cookies Makes 30 Cookies “Brutti ma buoni” (ugly but good) were cookies imported to Tuscany from Piedmont when Florence reigned briefly as Italy’s capital. The town of Prato, which is between Lucca and Florence, calls them “the sister cookies” to their famous cantuccini.  Usually brutti ma buoni […]

Panforte Spicy Sienese Fruit Cake Serves 20 This fruit cake, Siena’s trademark dessert, is called panforte, or “strong bread,” because it is made with lots of fresh ground pepper. It is a direct descendant of a medieval spiced sweetened bread. Ingredients: Butter, for the pan 1 ½ cups granulated sugar (See note) 6 tablespoons water […]

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