Valentina Harris' Torta di Pere

author: claireandhen

created: 2004-07-19 15:48:21



I love this recipe firstly because it's delicous, and secondly because it's fun to make the cake without a bowl ... a girl's gotta get her thrills where she can.


9oz (250g) plain white flour, sifted 4 oz (100g) caster sugar 4 oz (100g) unsalterd butter, cubed 1 egg and 1 egg yolk, beaten 2 tsp baking powder 1 tsp vanilla essence 4 tbsp grappa or brandy pinch salt 1 tbsp breadcrumbs 3-4 tbsp apricot jam 2oz amaretti biscuits, crumbled 1 1/2 lb (750g) ripe pears, preferably William, peeled and thinly sliced 1/2 tsp ground allspice 4oz (100g) sultanas 2 oz (50g) pine kernels 2oz (50g) caster sugar milk sweetened with sugar Preheat the oven to gas mark 3, 325F, 160C. Pile all the flour on the centre of a clean work surface, make a hole in the middle with your fist and add the sugar, butter, egg and egg yolk, baking powder, vanilla, grappa or brandy, and salt. Knead everything together hands to make a soft dough and roll it into a ball. Remove one quarter of the dough and set it aside. Butter an 11 inch (28cm) shallow cake tin, dust with flour and breadcrumbs then cover with the apricot jam and crumbled amaretti. Roll out the larger peice of dough to line the base and sides of the tin. Cover it with the pears and scatter over the allspice, sultanas, pine pernels and caster sugar. Roll out the reserved dough into sausage shapes and place one round the edge of the flan. Flatten the rest to a thickness of about 1/4 inch (5mm) and lay them on top to form a lattice pattern. Put the tart in the oven and bake for about 40 minutes or until cooked through and browned on top. About then minutes before the end of cooking time, remove it from the oven and bruth the top very generously with sweetened milk: this will keep the cake soft. Serve cold.