After a life changing 6 month trip to Italy this fall and winter I’ve been living like a gypsy; staying with relatives and friends until my tenants move out of my home September 1.
This summer I have the great privilege of staying with my parents and I’ve been cooking many dishes that I learned while in Italy. We’re having a good time until of course they step on their scales and yell at me for making them fat, but by the time that happens I hope to have skedaddled out of here.
This morning was a perfectly sunny day and the sunlight gorgeously streamed in the kitchen windows hitting a vase full of those yellow trumpet looking flowers that my mother grows in the yard and is so proud of. I was awoken by the neighbor’s lawn mower and a small dog barking and since Mom and Dad were still in bed, I decided to surprise them with something good to eat; before me was a bowl of blueberries and raspberries and I knew exactly what I was going to do with them.
During these gypsy months I have had the pleasure of sharing recipes and cooking with the people who were kind enough to take-in this weird middle-aged man. The first place I stayed was with Debbie and Lois who are both great cooks. One day Lois made a fruit torte and I literally, clandestinely left my bed all night and cut little pieces of it off until it was practically gone. Therefore, I have to give credit to my friend Lois for this simple torte recipe, not only because she didn’t scream at me after I ate her torte but because food and recipes are about sharing. For me there is nothing more enjoyable than reading a blog or a recipe from across this country and seas and making it in your home and before eating the creation toasting the person who was kind and generous enough to share it with you. A good cook always shares. So here’s to Lois who doesn’t live across the seas, but down the street from me. Thanks Lois; this torte is as sickly sweet, flaky and as good as you, ha ha ha… Although Lois’s recipes involves almonds and finishing off the top of the torte with an apricot jam glaze, I have neither so I’m making adjustments.
Here is how to do it.
This is so incredibly easy and quick. Use any kind of fruit, apple, peaches, pears, apricots, peel and slice, or use any kind of berries or make a combination of fruit and berries.
Take one cup of flour plus 2 tablespoons. 12 tablespoons of butter (1 stick and four tablespoons) a pinch of salt and I throw a few pinches of sugar. I put this all in a food processor, or you can use a hand pastry blender or do it with a fork. When it resembles cornmeal slowly add a small amount of cold water from a measured teaspoon. (In the blender it may form a ball of dough without even adding the water) Form in a ball, do not knead, wrap the dough in plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Roll the dough out (use more flour) into a round disc about the size of a Frisbee, in the center place your fruit or berries or both, sprinkle a small amount of sugar and flour on top and fold up the sides leaving the center exposed. The edges of the dough will be rough looking, but that is fine because it should have a rustic, rough look to it. When cool, sprinkle the torte with baker’s sanding sugar or confectionary sugar and hide the entire torte from me.