Happy Monday! The weekend for us usually starts with a trip to the local market. Giulio absolutely hates it because you can never go more than a few feet without having to stop to talk to someone, but I like the sense of community. You’d think living in a small town in Tuscany would be full of community fun… like the movie Chocolat but in Italian… in reality, it’s not like that.
Zeppole are mini Italian doughnuts (or donuts?). Actually, they’re not as fatty, greasy or as decadent as American doughnuts. There’s no thick glaze or creamy filling. But before you turn away in disgust, there are sultanas! The least exciting of all the dried fruits, but trust me, these are delicious!
The recipe is actually my nonna’s. I’m not sure if she ever celebrated carnevale as a kid in Calabria. They were pre-WWII years and my grandmother was an orphan living the Cinderella story (sans Prince Charming), so probably not.
Christmas is just around the corner and I couldn’t resist the urge to share a favourite family recipe. Florentines are gorgeous, gooey and decadent. Despite their name, they aren’t really from Florence, but are a classic Italian holiday biscuit that is shared and devoured with guilty pleasure all over the country.
This persimmon jam is really delicious on a slice of toasted Tuscan bread in the morning. Since it is so quick to make with the added pectin – I had my jam cut, boiled and jarred in 10 minutes!!! – you can make small batches as your fruit ripens or goes on sale at the supermarket.
I am a firm believer that greatness can come from the brink of disaster and I have to say I was really digging this butterscotch fruit recipe. It has all the things I was craving – a rich plum sauce, gooey custard and baked fruit, but without the calories of a cake. Not to mention, my all time favourite ingredient: limoncello. I have the recipe for this classic Italian liquor, which I’ll be sharing later in the week, but in the meantime, you can use a good store bought bottle or whatever liquor you have in the fridge.