Meat and Poultry

Grilled Ribeye with Roasted Red Pepper and Corn Succotash

Loreto September 22, 2020

Grilled Ribeye with Roasted Red Pepper and Corn Succotash. Want to talk about levels of flavors, this dish has many, from the creamy smokiness of the puree to the tender juiciness of the grilled ribeye, and finishing it all off with brightness and freshness in the succotash!

Song of the day: “Together Again” by Janet Jackson

Grilled Ribeye with Roasted Red Pepper and Corn Succotash. A great way to end off the summer with a bang. Plenty of flavor and textures to tantalize the taste buds, all using beautiful ingredients from our 124 Grand Market.

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Cakes, Pies & Tarts, Dessert

Blackberry Ricotta Sbriciolata

Nicoletta September 18, 2020

Blackberry Ricotta Sbriciolata: a tender, buttery cake sweetened with honey, a luscious ricotta filling, and plump fresh blackberries. “Sbriciolata” in Italian means crumb cake, so there is a short pastry dough at the bottom, the delicious filling in the middle, and more pastry crumbled on top. Lovely tea time or after-dinner treat for the whole family to enjoy. A must-make before the Summer season ends! 

Song of the day: “A Thousand Miles” – Vanessa Carlton

Blackberry Ricotta Sbriciolata-one slice on a plate

 

 

 

Blackberries

Beautiful sweet plump blackberries bought at our local Farmer’s market are the closest thing to going blackberry picking, basket in hand, in the Italian countryside.

Blackberry Ricotta Sbriciolata-blackberries in basket

The 124 Grand Market is a weekly appointment for us, on Thursdays and Sundays, and we never go back home empty-handed. Actually we were chosen to be their Food Ambassadors for the month of September. You can expect to see a few more recipes coming soon using the wonderful ingredients found at the market.

Missing the Italian fruits and veggies, Fresh Bc Fruit brings us a little joy, with all the berries, stone fruits, melons, grapes, apples, pears, and all the veggies. For me, summer is not over until the fat lady sings, so I am bringing home the last of the blackberries, the underdog of berries, so amazing in jams and baked goods!

 Blackberry Ricotta Sbriciolata-blackberries

Sbriciolata

Sbriciolata” in Italian means crumb cake, so there is a short pastry dough at the bottom, delicious ricotta filling in the middle with plump fresh blackberries on top of the ricotta, and more pastry crumbled on top. In pure Italian-style, a dusting of icing sugar on the finished cake would be inevitable, so go ahead and sprinkle some! This cake is a lovely tea time or after-dinner treat for the whole family to enjoy. A must-make before the Summer season ends! 

Blackberry ricotta sbriciolata

The ingredients

You will need, for the crust:

  • 200 g all-purpose flour
  • 75 unsalted butter, at room temperature (I left it out of the fridge a couple of hours prior)
  • 60 g honey (or 75 g cane sugar). I used unpasteurized dandelion honey from Good Morning Honey
  • 3/4 tsp (4 g) baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 egg

And for the filling:

  • 250 g ricotta
  • 50 g icing (powdered) sugar
  • 250 g blackberries

Blackberry Ricotta Sbriciolata-dough-blackberries-ricotta

The preparation

To make the dough I used a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. However, this could be done in a bowl, using your hands to blend the ingredients.

When the dough ball is in the fridge to rest for a half-hour, I wash the blackberries, preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C), and butter an 8-inch (20cm) springform pan. I line the bottom of the pan with a round of parchment paper and butter the parchment. After that, you have to:

  • Work the ricotta with the icing sugar in a bowl, with a wooden spoon or a fork, until smooth. TIP: If you want it extra smooth, pass it through a fine sieve.
  • Take the dough out of the fridge and divide it into two.
  • Press 2/3 of the dough on the bottom of the pan, spread it evenly, going up a little on the sides. Reserve 1/3 of the dough for the top.
  • Next, spoon the ricotta on the bottom pastry and level it.
  • Arrange the blackberries on top of the ricotta.
  • Lastly, crumble the rest of the dough on top of the blackberries.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes or just until golden brown. Check it often so it doesn’t burn. If the top is browning too quickly, cover it with foil.
  • When done, take out of the oven and let cool on a rack before unmolding.

Blackberry Ricotta Sbriciolata-on the rack

Can I use other fruits?

As a matter of fact, Sbriciolata, or any crumb cake, would be lovely with ricotta and any other berry, apple (since we’re going towards apple/pear season), and also chocolate (chips, chunks, or spread). You can leave the ricotta and fruit layers separate, or you can mix the ricotta with the berries/chunks of fruit/chocolate. I have another version of this Italian crumb cake, called Torta Sbrisolona, with a chocolate spread. So delicious! 

I have to tell you about the flavors and textures of this cake. The crust delicate, tender, melt in your mouth deliciousness. The inside, luxurious creamy experience with highlights of those plump juicy deep rich blackberries. The topping offers a nice finish to the whole and in the end, pure balance and happiness!

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Blackberry Ricotta Sbriciolata-one slice on a plate

Blackberry Ricotta Sbriciolata

  • Author: Nicoletta
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 6-8 servings 1x
  • Category: Dessert, cakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Italian

Description

A tender, buttery cake sweetened with honey, a luscious ricotta filling, and plump fresh blackberries. “Sbriciolata” in Italian means crumb cake, so there is a short pastry dough at the bottom, the delicious filling in the middle, and more pastry crumbled on top. Lovely tea time or after-dinner treat for the whole family to enjoy. A must-make before the Summer season ends!


Ingredients

  • 200 g all-purpose flour
  • 75 unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 60 g honey (or 75 g cane sugar)
  • 3/4 tsp (4 g) baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 egg

Filling

  • 250 g ricotta
  • 50 g icing (powdered) sugar
  • 250 g blackberries

Instructions

  1. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment add the flour, pinch of salt, baking powder, and mix. Add the butter at room temperature, cubed,  and the honey. Mix on low medium until combined.
  2. Add the egg and keep mixing on low medium just until combined.
  3. Shape the dough into a ball, pat it down, cover it in plastic, and set in the fridge to rest for a half-hour.
  4. In the meantime, wash the blackberries, preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C), and butter an 8-inch (20cm) springform pan. I line the bottom of the pan with a round of parchment paper and butter the parchment.

The filling

  1. In a bowl, work the ricotta with the icing sugar with a wooden spoon or a fork until smooth. TIP: If you want it extra smooth, you can pass the ricotta through a fine sieve.

Assembly

  1. Take the dough out of the fridge and divide it in 2/3 and 1/3.
  2. Press 2/3 of the dough on the bottom of the pan, spread it evenly, going up a little on the sides.
  3. Spoon the ricotta on the bottom, arrange the blackberries on top of the ricotta.
  4. Crumble the rest of the dough on top of the blackberries.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes or just until golden brown. Check it often so it doesn’t burn. If the top is browning too quickly, cover it with foil.
  6. When done, take out of the oven and let cool on a rack before unmolding.

Notes

The prep time includes the 30-minute resting time.

You can use any other berry or fruit. You can also mix the fruit with the ricotta, instead of having two separate layers.

The use of sugar instead of the honey in the dough makes the pastry crumblier, more like a short pastry.

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Blackberry Ricotta Sbriciolata-slice on a plate

Meat and Poultry

Grilled Beef Kafta with Tzatziki sauce

Loreto September 15, 2020

Grilled Beef Kafta with Tzatziki sauce, a dish full of aromatics and flavor that will have you craving it for sure! More so, this is a perfect family meal, inspired by a culture full of passion and hospitality!

Song of the day: “All Around the World” by Lisa Stansfield.

Grilled Beef Kafta with Tzatziki sauce-closeup

Grilled Beef Kafta with Tzatziki sauce. There is nothing like the aroma of grilling. The charring and caramelization that happens are mouthwatering. Pair that with this Kafta and all the seasoning that will have your taste buds demanding more after each bite, beautifully enlightened by the fresh zesty acidic tzatziki. Furthermore, absolutely shut the front door delicious!

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Cakes, Pies & Tarts, Dessert

Dutch Apple Tart, Hollandse Appeltaart

Nicoletta September 10, 2020

Dutch Apple Tart, Hollandse Appeltaart.  A Dutch tradition, Hollandse Appeltaart consists of a sweet, buttery, shortcrust pastry, filled with apples, currants, and sultana raisins, flavored with lemon zest and cinnamon. It is absolutely delicious and impressive, although not hard to make. Let this tart envelope you with its comforting smell of cinnamon and apples baked in pastry.

Song of the day: Jump – Van Halen

Dutch Apple Tart-whole tart

Come with us on our journey through food and culture with our Eat the world group. The Nederlands is the destination for this stop and we are sharing a traditional, popular dessert, the Dutch equivalent of the North American apple pie. It can be considered their national dessert. Every café, restaurant, pub, department store, also every house, have their version of it. Dutch apple tart recipes are more than 500 years old and they are usually passed down from generation to generation, each one with its own slight variation.

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Meat and Poultry, Pasta, Pizza, Risotto

Calzone Napoletano, Classic Neapolitan Calzone

Loreto September 8, 2020

Calzone Napoletano, Classic Neapolitan Calzone, is a pizza folded in on itself, stuffed and oven-baked, and crescent-shaped. The end result, a wonderfully crisp-edged pizza, tough encasing delightful creamy ricotta enticed with morsels of salami and mozzarella. Now that’s Italian!

Song of the day: “Napule” by Gigi D’Alessio, Sal Da Vinci, Gigi Finizio.

Calzone Napoletano-on paper-whole

Calzone Napoletano, Classic Neapolitan Calzone. Classic Italian street food at its best. This is one that you would find in Naples. The richness of flavors will wow your taste buds and will consequently transport you to a culture rich in tradition and food!

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Breakfast and Brunch, Muffins

Blackberry Peach Muffins, dairy-free

Nicoletta September 5, 2020

Blackberry Peach Muffins.  Enjoy the last of the summer fruit making delicious muffins that are packed with flavor! Juicy blackberries, sweet peaches, with a hint of cinnamon and vanilla brighten these dairy-free muffins for a delightful breakfast.

Song of the day: I Guess I Just Feel Like – John Mayer

Dairy-free Blackberry Peach Muffins-one muffin on the plate

The farmer’s markets are still carrying all the summer fruit! What a joy to see. We went last night and found cantaloupe, watermelon, peaches, blueberries, blackberries, together with grapes, apples, plums. In these muffins, we paired blackberries and peaches, and let me tell you, it was the best thing to do.

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Fish and Seafood, Pasta, Pizza, Risotto

Crimini Mushroom and Lobster Risotto

Loreto September 2, 2020

Crimini Mushroom and Lobster Risotto A luxuriously rich in texture and flavour dish that hosts wonderful hints of earthy mushroom, sweet lobster, all held in the creamy folds of the beautifully textured rice. Truly a weekday or weekend meal that will leave you feeling comforted and blessed!

Song of the day: “The Way You Make Me Feel” by Micheal Jackson.

Crimini Mushroom and Lobster Risotto-plate closeup

[This post is sponsored by Mushrooms Canada. We’ve been compensated but -as always- all opinions are our own.]

Crimini Mushroom and Lobster Risotto. The aromas remind us of those beautiful waters, the rice our great growing lands, and everything in-between the blessings that life has to offer us. If you want comfort and luxuriousness, this recipe has it all. Give it a try!

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Breakfast and Brunch

Peach White Chocolate Scones

Nicoletta August 28, 2020

Peach White Chocolate Scones, a real taste of summer, with juicy sweet peach chunks hidden in the folds of buttery scones. Tender crumb on the inside, lovely crispiness on the outside. Bake them for your breakfast/brunch or tea time, you won’t regret it!

Song of the day: Almost (Sweet Music) by Hozier 

 Peach White Chocolate Scones-on the rack

It’s almost Fall and at this latitude, we can taste a nip in the air, especially in the morning and at night. But before we veer towards Autumn flavors, we are grabbing the last summer fruits we can find at the local farmer’s market. Freestone peaches, of course, coming from the neighbour Province British Columbia are still abundant and I cannot see a better use than adding the juicy chunks to delectable scones.

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Meat and Poultry

Butter Chicken Wings for Savannah

Loreto August 26, 2020

Butter Chicken Wings for Savannah. You want to talk about layers of flavor! Well, when you bite into one of these wings you will be transported straight to the promise land. Dry spice meets rich butter sauce in an entanglement of texture and deliciousness! All thanks to my granddaughter Savannah!

Song of the day: “India Inspired” by Loreto Nardelli.

Butter chicken wings-serving-dish-closeup

Butter Chicken Wings for Savannah, this dish is all about building flavors first from marinating the wings, secondly grilling them on the barbecue, and lastly having them simmer and be cuddled by a delicious butter sauce! The end result mind-blowing! How’s that for mouth-watering!

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