Tag Archives: Italian dessert

Zuccotto – Italy’s Secret Dessert

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2020. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

ZuccottoZuccotto has everything going for it so I’m not sure why it isn’t up there in the ranks of famous Italian desserts.  But I have rarely come across it.  Not exactly a cake, although it includes sponge cake, not exactly not a cake so we’ll settle on dessert.

My first attempt at Zuccotto left me unimpressed.  Perhaps because I am not a fan of ricotta cheese.  Adding whipped cream and mascarpone simply made three neutral flavors predominant.  So I went about using the flavors of Italy – amaretto, hazelnuts, cherries, candied orange, cinnamon, and chocolate to amp up the flavor and give it a lot of character.  As with many European desserts, this is not overly sweet.  Continue reading

Individual Apple Crostatas

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2020. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Individual Apple Crostatas with Pastry CreamThe Italians call them crostatas and the French call them croustades but they are basically the same item.  Individual Apple Crostatas with Pastry Cream is a meeting between the pastry worlds of Italy and France.

Traditionally, a butter crust that is pleated is used as the vessel for the apple crostatas  but in researching this, phyllo seems to be a second choice. When it comes to the restaurant, I stick with tradition when making the crostatas.   Tony’s serves them with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce.  While I love this version, my accompaniment of choice is pastry cream piped into the warm crostata.  The chill of the pastry cream softening in the warm apple pastry is truly special and looks so much more difficult than it is. Continue reading