Italian quince pie recipe

Crostata di cotognata
Quince pie recipes present a marvellous solution to the problem of having too much quince marmalade or cotognata for one extended family to stomach. One pie can easily absorb 4-500 g of marmalade and the result is refined and delicate and not at all as perfumed as I would have feared.

If you have not been blessed with extraordinary amounts of cotognata, you might use another kind of fruit compote, mincemeat or marmalade, if it is not too sweet.

If you have only got raw quince, and want to prepare your own cotagnata, try cooking the fruit with half-and-half sugar. In vain, I have tried to lure the cotognata recipe from my Italian friends, but for one thing all their measures are approximations, and second they are not that strickt about the ingredients either. Some would never use anything but quince and sugar, while others add figs, grapes and other mature fruits that happen to be close at hand. It’s all a matter of taste.

Ingredients
400 g flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsb salt
1 organic lemon – rind
120 g sugar
150 g cold butter
2 eggs

500 g cotognata (or other fruit puree)

Preparation
Mix all the dry ingredients for the pie dough. Add the cold butter and cut it to pieces in the flour. Rub the ingredients together until they resemble fine bread crumbs.
Add the eggs – one at a time – and gather the dough in two balls. If is seems too dry, add a drop of cold water.
Put the dough in a plastic bag and leave it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Grease an oven-proof tart pan with butter. Place the bigger of the two dough balls between two pieces of cling-film (this really saves time and annoyance), and roll it out in a circle that can be used to line the pan.
Spread cotognata evenly on top
Roll out the other dought ball between two pieces of cling-film. Cut it into strips and use the strips to decorate the pie.
Bake the quince pie for 40-50 minutes in a pre-heated 175 degree C (350 F) oven until golden brown.

Other sweet ideas like this quince pie recipe

Apple cake with walnuts and amaretti

Peach dessert recipe

Sweet rhubarb pie recipe

 

quince pie recipe

Photo of original tiramisu

Original Tiramisu Recipe

Weekends promise a sweet allowance, and why not rediscover the pull-me-up classic of the 80s, Tiramisu.

Fresh orecchiette with tomato sauce

Orecchiette con pomodoro e ricotta dura
Orecchiette with tomato sauce ia a traditional Puglian recipe based on a few basic ingredients mixed with lots of love and care.

It is amazing how much time and energy, you can invest in a simple dish like orecchiette with tomato sauce and grated cheese, but both orecchiette and ricotta dura are puglian specialities that can be quite hard to obtain, unless you stocked up on these basics before you left the region. Therefore you either have to prepare the orecchiette yourself or use substitutes, in which case the dish can be ready to serve in a matter of minutes.

‘Orecchiette’ means ‘small ears’, because that is what the look like, and they are made by preparing normal pasta dough, rolling it into long rolls, slicing the rolls in small sections, and shaping them with a knife. Add final touches by inserting the thumb into each pasta

Ricotta dura is alternately known as ricotta secca, ricotta stagionata and ricotta salata, depending on where you are or who you ask. It is a hard cheese as opposed to the soft fresh ricotta, and if you are looking for a replacement use parmaggiano (parmesan), Grana Padano, pecorino or another cheese that can be grated.

Ingredients
350 g orecchiette (or farfalle)
250 g skinned tomatoes – preferably the small pomodorini
Salt
Olive oil<
Fresh basil (dried basil can also be used)
4 tbsp ricotta dura

Preparation
Heat the oil in a small pan. Fry the tomatoes for a few minutes before you turn down the heat, and leaves them to simmer for about ½ hour. Regulate the taste with salt and dried basil.
Heat up a large pan with plenty of water and bring it to the boil. Add a fistful of salt along with the orecchiette. Cooking time for home made orecchiette is about 10 minutes depending on how long they have been left to dry, i.e. shorter for freshly made pasta and longer for pasta that has been prepared days ago.
Drain the pasta when al dente and serve with tomato sauce, grated ricotta and fresh basil leaves.

Other dishes similar to orecchiette with tomato sauce

Creamy mushroom pasta sauce

Walnut sauce for pasta in less than 10 minutes

Pasta with squash and saffron

orecchiette with tomato sauce

Mixed bean salad

Mixed bean salad

The beauty of a mixed bean salad consists in its versatility, economy and high nutritional value. And some mixed bean salads are also a pleasure to eat.

Sweet and sour carrots

Carote in agrodolce
There are generally seven types of cold Italian antipasti: the pickled sweet and sour carrots recipe belongs to the sott’aceto category.

There are generally seven types of cold Italian antipasti: Sott’aceto, sott’olio, sotto sale, a base di carne, a base di pesce, a base di formaggio and a base di pane. This recipe from Piemonte belongs to the first category, and it is very good this time of year, when you have a craving for salads and fresh vegetables.

Yet the tasty, sweet and sour carrots are preserved and may keep for weeks in a clean, airtight container. They are really easy to prepare and easier still to serve along with other antipasti sott’aceto such as olives, onions, cucumbers and artichokes. Especially, if you are entertaining many guests and wish to show off with a full plate of delicious starters.

Ingredients
½ kg peeled carrots
100 ml vinegar made on white wine
100 ml dry white wine
100 ml water
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp sugar
2 cloves of garlic
2 bayleaves
Fresh mint, rosemary, parsley
Salt and pepper

Preparation
Slice the carrots or cut them up into long juillienne sticks.
Place the carrots and the peeled cloves of garlic in a casserole with water, wine and vinegar. And sugar, oil and herbs, and let it boil for 8-10 minutes until the carrots are al dente.
Remove the herbs and transfer the carrots to a clean glass.
Cover with the boiling liquid, and leave the carrots in the fridge for a day or two. (They are delicious from day one, but a rest may improve the taste further.)
Sprinkle with fresh basil leaves before serving.

Other preserves to supplement sweet and sour carrots 

Burrata with pickled aubergine

Make sauerkraut – sour cabbage

Preserving artichokes

Sweet and sour carrots