Torta di Mele
(Italian apple torte)
Torta di mele is a typical Tuscan dessert. Tuscans are known for finding all kinds of ways to use up leftover bread, and day-old bread is best for this recipe.
Because this torte contains an egg custard, leftovers should be refrigerated.
6 to 8 servings
- Good quality bread, crust removed, cubed -- about 3 cups
- Milk -- 2 cups
- Butter -- 1 tablespoon
- Eggs, beaten -- 3
- Sugar -- 1/3 cup
- Flour -- 3 tablespoons
- Lemon, zest only -- 1
- Salt -- 1/4 teaspoon
- Vanilla -- 1/2 teaspoon
- Apples, peeled, cored and sliced into wedges -- 3 or 4
- Soak the bread in 1 cup of the milk for about 20 minutes. Work well with your hands to form a sort of doughy paste. Squeeze out any excess milk and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Butter a 9-inch cake, torte or springform pan with the butter. Press bread paste into the bottom of the pan to form a crust.
- In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the remaining 1 cup of milk, sugar, flour, lemon zest, salt and vanilla.
- Lay the apples overlapping in concentric circles over the bread crust. Pour enough of the egg-milk mixture over the apples to cover them about halfway (you may not need all of the liquid).
- Place in the oven and bake for 45 to 60 minutes. Turn pan once during the baking for even browning.
- Remove from oven, cool and remove from the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Torte di Mele Variations
- Torta di Pere (Pear torte): Substitute pears for the apples. Sprinkle a few plump raisins over the top before baking.
- Mix a little nutmeg into the egg-milk mixture if you like.