Browsing Tag

sweet

Cherry Jam Crostata

Cherry Jam Crostata

Happy Valentine’s Day! When given the choice between a chocolate dessert and a fruit dessert, I’ll choose a fruit dessert every time. I like chocolate well enough, but I often find it heavy on my palate. On the other hand, I relish the bright, tart, and lightly sweet flavors of fruit-based desserts like this cherry jam crostata. When we were in Rome several years ago, I snapped this photo while walking past a pasticceria (pastry shop). As you can see, crostata is a popular dessert in Italy. Crostata is both simple and elegant in its presentation, and a dessert I grew up eating often. […]

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How to Make Italian Sweet Pastry Dough

Pasta Frolla

For the first “basics” post of 2016, I’m introducing you to pasta frolla, an Italian sweet pastry dough. It is also known as shortcrust pastry. Pasta frolla is the base for many Italian desserts, especially crostata, a tart filled with fruit preserves or pastry cream (sometimes both), or even Nutella. Pasta frolla is also the dough of choice for pastiera napoletana, a traditional Italian Easter dessert, as well as delicate cookies that Italians call frollini. Once baked, pasta frolla is both tender and flaky, almost like shortbread, but less dense. The milk solids from the butter contribute not only to the texture of pasta frolla, but […]

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Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti

cranberry pistachio biscotti

This past weekend, Peter and I bought our Christmas tree and finished decorating our house for the holiday season. I also started my Christmas cookie baking. Every year, I send homemade cookies to a few family members and friends. I started this tradition several years ago and it’s my favorite activity during the Christmas season. I start planning and preparing in November–I print out my list of cookie recipients, buy cookie tins and shipping boxes, stock up on ingredients, and make my (ambitious) list of cookie recipes I want to bake. I like to bake different cookies every year to keep […]

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Basics: How to Make Cream Cheese Pastry Dough

cream cheese pastry dough

I’m back with one more “basics” post before the Thanksgiving festivities begin. Today, I’m showing you how to make cream cheese pastry dough. This is a great dough to start with if you are new to making dough from scratch because it comes together easily and is a dream to roll out. Cream cheese pastry dough was the first dough I learned how to make and it took me no time to master it. Like all butter pie dough, I like to make cream cheese pastry dough in the food processor because it comes together quickly, with just a few pulses and a […]

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Basics: How to Make Pumpkin Purée

pumpkin purée

We have arrived at this week’s last “basics” post. Today, I’m showing you how to make homemade pumpkin purée. I know this is not an Italian recipe, and I’m breaking my all-Italian-recipes “rule”, but around Thanksgiving, I start making many of my favorite, traditional American recipes.  Italians do eat many varieties of winter zucca (squash) which they use in velvety zuppe (soups) and fillings for ravioli, tortelli, and other stuffed pasta. I’m making a pumpkin pie for our Thanksgiving dessert table this year, and I wanted to make my filling with fresh pumpkin. Homemade pumpkin purée couldn’t be easier to make. Sure, opening […]

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