Friday, March 21, 2008

Festa Italiana

Maryann and Marie are co-hosting an event called Festa Italiana in which we're encouraged to share our favourite Italian dish or drink. It would be quite remiss of me not to take part and it's given me the perfect excuse to make one of my most favourite tarts. You always knew it was a special occasion when my mother would make this "torta".

torta meringata con mele

Torta Meringata con Mele
[Makes 1x22cm/9 inch tart]

Pasta frolla
2 apples, peeled, cored and grated
1 lemon, zested
250 grams caster sugar
4 eggs

Line the base of a 22cm/9inch loose bottomed tart pan with the pasta frolla. Set it aside while you make the filling.

Prepare the filling:

The filling will require 4 egg yolks but only 2 egg whites - the other 2 egg whites will go to make the meringue topping - set these aside until you are ready to use them.

Place the grated apple into a bowl and add the sugar and lemon zest - stir well to mix.

Add the egg yolks, one at a time, making sure they are fully incorporated into the apple mix before adding the next.

When this is done, whisk up 2 egg whites until soft peak forms.

Add a spoon full of egg white to the apple mix to slacken and then fold through the remaining egg white.

Bake the tart:

Pour this into your prepared pastry case. If you have too much filling, just pour it into a small heatproof dish and bake it separately

Place the cake pan onto an oven tray as the tart can release some moisture and bake in a preheated 160°C/320°F oven until golden on top and cooked through. If you feel that it's browning too quickly, cover with baking paper and foil and drop the temperature of the oven.

It will take around 40 minutes - the filling should be almost firm and the pastry cooked.

Now beat the remaining egg whites until soft peak form, adding a couple of tablespoons of caster sugar to sweeten the meringue.

Drop spoonfuls of meringue onto the cake and then roughly push it cover the top. No need to be precious as the roughness gives it some character.

Return to the oven and cook until the meringue has coloured - this should take about 5-10 minutes.

Let the tart stand in the pan until cooled before un-moulding.

torta meringata con mele

This has a most amazing taste and texture - during cooking, the grated apples tend to rise leaving a lemon scented quasi-custard to form at the base of the tart. The top of the filling browns creating an almost caramelised apple layer. If that wasn't enough you have that marshmallowy softness of just baked meringue crowning the whole thing.

It's a tart that once tasted, you'll never forget it.



  1. Goodness, first I see 'favourite Italian dish' and I'm hooked, then this torta which I've never heard of before and it looks so amazing. Must, must try.

  2. Hi Haalo, I came to your site looking for inspiration for my bookgroup next week, after the stunning success of the hot cross buns - and look what I find!! This sounds just what I need, delectable and different!

    Let you know how it goes.


  3. Tomorrow. My kitchen. Mr Meringata con Mele, we have a date.

    Thanks Haalo!

  4. Haalo, This looks so scrumptious! I can't wait to try your beautiful creation at our Festa! Thank you so much for joining us!!

  5. Oh my goodness, this looks like it would taste amazing.

  6. It looks beautiful and yummy!Thanks for joining us for our festa, haalo! :)

  7. Haalo, first of all, thanks for the hot cross bun recipe! I baked them yesterday and oh my, they are wonderful!

    Now, your tart is just out of this world. Thanks for sharing another recipe with us. Better still, this is your family recipe! I will be trying this for sure!

  8. Thanks Julia - I hope you'll love it as much as I do!

    Thanks Deb - happy to hear about the hot cross buns, do let me know about this torta!

    Thanks Lorena - you'll have to show me the pics!

    Thank you Marie - you gave me the perfect excuse to finally make this cake for myself and now, I'll have to make it again ;)

    Thanks Kalyn - I think it has such a unique taste, it's something that has just stuck with me since the first time I tried it.

    Thanks Maryann!

    Thanks Anh - I'm glad to see those hot cross buns being baked, they just work perfectly every time. Save me a bun or a slice or tart ;)

  9. I misread it to be Torta con Miele but Mele is also delicious! Looks great!

  10. This looks fabulous! I am all about apples (Mele)! Yum!

  11. It is, Kevin!

    Thanks Ginny, they are very similar words.

    Thanks Chris!

  12. This torta di mele looks divine!

    I love apple desserts and this torta certainly will be one I will make in the very near future.


  13. Grazie Liliana - I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

  14. Just took this out of the oven, and wow. It's cooling now, but a little fell into my face along the way and it is delicious. Thanks!

  15. Thanks Dave - glad you've enjoyed it!

  16. I made this one a few weeks ago and it was like biting into a slice of heaven. I've never tasted anything quite like it. Your instructions and recipe made it seem like such a breeze to make. Am hanging out for an occasion to make this again.

  17. Hi Narelle - love the photo and your description. It is a special cake.

  18. Good blog.. thanks for sharing


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