A little anniversary passed by the other day : I published my 200th post on this site, making me wonder whether my blog has a secret life of its own. What started as a journal to record my obsession with cooking and all things Italian, interspersed with the odd travel and garden post, has acquired its own weekly and monthly rhythm and character. I enjoy the weekly travel prompts provided by Ailsa at Where’s My Backpack, and the photographic challenge offered by The daily Post at WordPress. A month doesn’t pass by without popping into Celia’s ‘In my Kitchen’ at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial and I attempt to record my vegetable garden efforts in the monthly Garden Share Collective. I have met some wonderful folk along the way: my virtual world is a positive and palpable part of my life. These friends have encouraged me to make my own sourdough bread ( Celia) explore new recipe books, taking me out of my comfort zone, thanks to Leah at The Cookbook Guru, acquire wonderful vintage cookbooks due to scholarly accounts by Debi at My Kitchen Witch, visit a most fabulous garden and seaside in New Zealand at Julie’s Frog Pond Farm, read the most enticing recipes by the best cook in Melbourne ( Sandra at Please Pass the Recipe), be amused by Lorraine’s antics at Not Quite Nigella, feel envious of Jane’s energy and her volume of baking at The Shady Baker, reflect on the wisdom and beauty of Ardys desert photographs at Ardysez and the storytelling of Ella Dee. There are so many more, newer friends, too numerous to mention, especially the documenters of Italian life, those residing near Lucca and travellers in that great country.
My top rating post of all time is Apricot Almond Cake with Amaretto. Easy Frangipane quickly followed by In My Kitchen. February 2014 ,
Thanks to you, dear reader, for encouraging me along the way with your comments, ‘likes’ and views. As a way of celebrating, I’m including the original Pear Frangipane Cake recipe as it’s pear season and I believe it is the best version of this cake. I love this cake because it impresses most guests, is easy to make, and doesn’t have a pastry crust, which is a bonus. Also check out the blueberry version by the lovely Signorina at Napoli Restaurant Alert as well as my raspberry version here.
Torta di Pere, Mandorle e Amaretto. Pear Almond and Amaretto Frangipane Tart.
- 125 g softened unsalted butter
- 150 g of castor sugar
- 4 eggs
- 50 g plain flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 375 g almond meal
- 2 Tablespoons Amaretto liqueur
- Two large pears, peeled, cored and cut into thick wedges
- 25 g flaked almonds for top (optional)
- Preheat oven to 180c. Grease a 25 cm loose bottom tin. Line base.
- Place butter and sugar and eggs in a mixer bowl and beat for 5 minutes until thick and pale.
- Stir in the flour mixed with the baking powder, then fold in the almond meal, followed by the Amaretto. Pour into the prepared tin and smooth top.
- Arrange pear wedges over the top, pressing them down so they partly submerge. Scatter the top with the flaked almonds. ( optional)
- Bake for 45- 50 mins. Cool in tin.
- Serve dusted with icing sugar, cream or mascapone.