Venetian food is Italy’s best-kept secret
The best souvenir you can pick up in Venice (or anywhere in Italy really) is learn to cook a local dish really well. It will give joy for years to come - maybe even generations! First there is a lot of research involved by eating in many of the excellent local restaurants (there are plenty of great suggestions in the Plinius Insider's Guide). Then a visit to the local market, the key is good quality ingredients which is very easy to find. Last but not least, a good local cook book for example "A Table in Venice" by Skye McAlpine. Some of the recipes are translated and barely adapted from old Venetian cookbooks, while other dishes are more loosely inspired by the ingredients, the flavours and the everyday life of Venice.
In order to celebrate three new stunning apartments we added to the Plinius collection we share this delicious recipe orta di mele, miele e noci (Apple, honey and walnut cake). “Every Italian mamma worth her salt has a recipe for apple cake. I am particularly fond of this version from Skye McAlpine, made with yoghurt and sweetened only with honey.
Orta di mele, miele e noci
4-5 dessert apples (about 600g)
3 large eggs
125g plain yoghurt
50ml olive oil
210g self-raising flour
50g walnut pieces
25g salted butter, diced
35g demerara sugar
Heat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas mark 4. Grease a 23cm spring-form cake tin using butter or oil and line the base and sides with baking parchment.
Core the apples and slice them lengthways into half-moon crescents. Roughly chop half the apple slices, saving the rest for decoration.
Put the eggs and honey in a bowl and whisk vigorously for 2-3 minutes with a handheld electric mixer (or a little longer by hand), until pale and fluffy. Stir in the yoghurt with a wooden spoon. Drizzle in the olive oil and stir until well combined. Sift the flour into the bowl and mix until there are no lumps. Finally, toss in the chopped apple and the walnuts and give everything a good stir.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin and use the back of the spoon to smooth it out evenly. Arrange the apple slices on top (I like to do this in a circle around the edge). Dab the pieces of butter over the cake and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake for 45 minutes, until the cake is golden brown and springs back when you press down gently on the top; a knife or skewer inserted into the middle should come out clean. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack. Eat warm or at room temperature.
What I love about so much of this food – it’s so incredibly simple and made with a few, seasonal ingredients,
Salena & Celemente appartments in a beautiful design Palazzo in the heart of Venice
Recipes taken from A Table in Venice: Recipes from my home ~ Skye McAlpine
Try these simple, beautiful, family-friendly recipes from cook, writer and photographer Skye McAlpine