I was fortunate enough to study in Sesto Fiorentino, Italy (a town right outside of Florence) for a semester during college. I loved absolutely everything about my time there: the history, the fashion, the art and the views. But if I had to pick only one thing that defined my time there, I most definitely have to say it was the food.
We had our own chef in the villa I lived and studied in, an adorable old man named Nino. Day after day, he would go to the market to pick up fresh ingredients in order to prepare us our daily lunch, dinner and dessert. The ingredients came from within miles of where we lived and were purchased every morning; words cannot express the true freshness that was contained in every meal we ate. (Well, there was a lot of butter in there too, which would explain why everyone on the program gained about 10 pounds...)
But the most amazing part about what Nino cooked for us every day was the actual simplicity of his dishes. He could create true masterpieces with the use of only a few simple ingredients, something that few people can do with their cooking and baking.
While unpacking a box this week, I stumbled on some crumpled pieces of paper. As I unfolded them, I realized I had just found gold: my copies of recipes from the Villa Corsi-Salviati kitchen. While most of them are pasta dishes (including the best pesto recipe ever), there are a few dessert recipes as well, one of which I am sharing in this post.
This Torta di Mele is extremely simple to make, requiring only 9 ingredients and a few minutes in the kitchen. If you make sure to use the freshest milk, apples and lemons in this torta, you will not be disappointed with the result. You may even feel like you are on a quick trip to Italy.
Torta di Mele
from the Villa Corsi-Salviati kitchen
3 Granny Smith apples
juice of one lemon
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
7 tablespoons melted butter
a little over 3/4 cups sifted flour
2 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 cup milk
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Peel the apples and cut them into thin slices. Place them in a bowl and sprinkle with the lemon juice. In a separate bowl, mix all other ingredients until it becomes a semi-liquid batter. Add in the apple slices to the mixture and stir until coated and thoroughly mixed in.
Pour mixture into a round pan and place in the oven for about 45 minutes. The torta should be golden brown on top. Once removed from the oven and slightly cooled, sprinkle with powdered sugar. Buon appetito!