This is not a cliché.

September 2013

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Sunday,
22 September 2013

A very special treat

Finally, it’s apple season. It’s been some years since we decided to buy only apples that are in season, for ourselves and the guests of the Casa La Perla. However, it’s somewhat strange. One of South Tyrol’s best-known desserts is the Apfelstrudel, an apple pie, but in the last years, our chefs have replaced this dish with a just as good apricot strudel.
“I love cooking and inviting good friends over: what I love even more are the scents which waft in from the kitchen at special times throughout the day and which spread out to the Stube, the hotel entrance, even the forecourt outside.”
It seems like yesterday that Mrs Costa used apples to decorate every corner of the house during the year: Stuben, tables, the most banal object was enhanced by the simple addition of a small mound of apples and, in the blink of an eye, the sweet scent of love, home and South Tyrol wafted in the room.
And today, as the first apples arrive at the hotel, a gasp of delight escapes my lips “Apples!”
I love cooking and inviting good friends over: what I love even more is the scents which waft in from the kitchen at special times throughout the day and which spread out to the Stube, the hotel entrance, even the forecourt outside. The scent of Apfelstrudel, to me at least, is the epitome of happiness.
The original recipe was written by my sweet and dear Paoletta, Sunken Apfelstrudel. I haven’t changed anything in this recipe, except for the significant amount of apples used, which means I cannot really keep the recipe’s original name. However, all these apples will confer a simple and familiar taste to the pie.

Ingredients:
200 g flour
150 g sugar
2 eggs
200 ml double cream
1 sachet baking agent
4 tbsp vegetable oil
pinch of salt
3 large apples or 4 small ones

Preheat the oven to 180°-190°. Grease one 22 cm cake tin with butter and add flour. Shake the excess flour off and grease butter into any spots you missed. Slice the apples (or ask a friend to help while you prepare the dough).
Whisk the eggs and flour until soft peaks form, slowly add oil and whisk slower, add half the cream (100 ml), the previously sieved flour and baking agent, add remaining cream.
Pour into tin and press the apples down: don’t worry if the dough doesn’t cover them, if you’ve followed the recipe the dough will magically rise around them. Sprinkle with sugar, cinnamon and a knob of butter cut into three parts. Bake for 30 or 40 minutes, depending on the oven.

Prepare it shortly before your family or guests come back home: the wafting smell will awaken dormant emotions and memories. To make things even more perfect find a cake-stand, porcelain plates and forks, napkins, a green twig outside your home for decoration and set the table. Your guests will not forget this welcome.

Joe