Tag Archives: dolce

Aprikoser i maj!

May 19, 2015

På Pantelleria mognar de första stenfrukterna redan nu i maj.
Det är nesbole, körsbär, och aprikoser.
De här receptet är superenkelt och funkar även utmärkt till persikor och nektariner när man har sådana till hands.
Servera med grekiskyoghurt eller vaniljglass.

Aprikoser i och honungssirap
4 port

24 st fina mogna aprikoser

2,5 dl flytande honung
Citronzest av en hel citron
Citronsaft av en 1/2 citron
1 liten kanelstång
2 tsk mald kardemumma

Till servering
Myntablad och grekisk yoghurt eller vaniljglass

Gör så här:
Ta fram en tjockbottnad kastrull och blanda i alla ingredienserna till spadet.
Koka upp spadet på spisen och låt det reducera till hälften.
Med en liten skalkniv skär ett litet kryss i varje aprikos.
Sänk värmen och lägg i aprikoserna några i taget och låt sjuda i vätskan ca 5 min eller till det mjuknat.
Ta upp med en hålslev och lägg i nästa omgång.
Låt aprikoserna svalna och pilla av skalet med en liten skalkniv och ta ur kärnan.

Sila av spadet och lägg tillbaka aprikoserna sirapen.
Servera med några mynta blad, ett par skedar av sirapen och en stor sked grekisk yoghurt.

Passito spiced summer cherries

July 24, 2014

This is my local take on Maraschino cherries, but instead of Maraschino liqueur I used our local sweet wine, Passito di Pantelleria. Originally maraschino cherries were made from marasca cherries (originated in Croatia) which were then preserved in Italy’s maraschino liqueurs. Since I am not using Maraschino liqueur, rather Passito di Pantelleria such as Sangue  d’oro  and the local cherries “Amarena”. The cherries need to sit in the jar for about two weeks to really soak in the spices before serving. Eat the cherries as a dessert with or without vanilla ice cream, place them on top of a cupcakes or as a garnish to a whiskey sour.
Chin chin!AT-CF038203 1Passito spiced summer cherries
1 Cup (2.4 dl) sugar
1/2 Cup (1.2 dl) water
3 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 Cinnamon stick
1 Star Anise
1 Clove
A pinch of grated nutmeg
1 Vanilla bean cut and seeds scraped
2 LB (900 grams) sweet stoned cherries (use your local variety)
1 Cup ( 2.4 dl) of Passito di Pantelleria

Wash and remove all the cherry’s stones.
In a saucepan, combine all ingredients excluding the cherries and the Passito allowing them to come to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the cherries and simmer for 8-10minutes. Remove from heat, add the Passito and let cool.
Transfer the cherries and liquid into clean jars and cover tightly and refrigerate for two weeks.

Almond Bar’s Whiskey Sour
1 part Bourbon whiskey
2 part simple syrup, recipe for simple sirup here
1 part lemon juice
1 Passito spiced cherry

Mix all the ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake and serve with a cherry on the top. If it’s a hot summer day serve with some extra ice.



Lemon curd

June 26, 2014

The other day, while reading over some really tempting summer recipes in the Swedish magazine Lantliv. I realized that I haven’t enjoyed cheesecake for quite some time. This particular recipe included a lemon curd. The lemon tree just outside my door inspired me to make my own curd. The cheesecake and lemon curd was delicious, as for the left overs we’ll indulged ourselves with pancakes the following morning.

AT lemon curd -CF109015

Lemon curd

3 Egg (room temperature)
1 Cup (2.4 dl) caster sugar
1/2 cup (1.2 dl) lemon juice
Lemon zest from 1 lemon (use the lemon as part of the juice)
3.5 oz (100 gram) butter

Place a pot of water onto the stove top to use as a water bath.
Over a low heat let it arrive to a simmer.

In a heatproof bowl and mix sugar, eggs, lemon juice and lemon zest.
Cut the butter into small pieces.Whisk the ingredients until thoroughly combined.
Place the bowl over the simmering water and whisk continuously, until the curd thickens.
Be attentive so that the eggs not coagulate to become scrambled eggs.
When the curd has thickened, remove the bowl from the heat and whisk in the butter chunks.
Pour into jar and let cool. (I suggest that you use the water to boil the jar as to make sure it is clean prior to cooking the curd)
Store the jar in the fridge, should keep for a week.


Swedish magazine Lantliv and a pie from the lemon tree

January 26, 2014

Friends, I have news! I will be contributing the food portion for a blog in the Swedish Magazine Lantliv http://www.lantliv.com/category/bloggar/anna-huerta/. The recipes will be in Swedish and there are three posts already! And make sure to check out my fellow bloggers Leija Kortesaari, Victoria Skoglund and Bella Linde all very interesting in their different fields http://www.lantliv.com/bloggar/
Under the Almond Tree will continue to be published in English. My hope is that you will continue to follow our posts whether you choose the Swedish version at Lantliv or Under the Almond Tree.

lemone lunare tree-CF020182

This week’s post is from our garden, home to an amazing lemon tree. The name for this tree is Limone Lunare. Upon the full moon, it makes new lemons. Picking the fruits releases their perfume, a magical scent, fresh and sweet at the same time. The tree provides us with fruit year round, but during the hottest summer months when rain is in short supply it adjusts its production accordingly. Late January through April the tree is full of yellow lemons. I have a weakness for all sweets and desserts made with lemon. The first time I ever tasted this lemon pie was after a dinner served by my friend Sara, a master of desserts and baked goods. She generously gave me her recipe. Over the years and many pies, I have changed it a little bit by adding more lemon cream and including some vanilla to the crust.
10 years later, this pie remains a favorite to all. Enjoy!

Lemon pie

9 Inch ( 24 cm) cake tin
Serves 8 portions

Pie crust
7 Oz (200 grams) butter
1 1/4 Cup ( 3 dl) All-purpose flour
5 Tablespoon caster sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon bourbon vanilla powder or other vanilla extract
Lemon cream
6 Eggs (room temperature)
1 1/2 Cup (3.75 dl) caster sugar
1/2 Cup (1.2 dl) sifted flour
1 Cup ( 2.4 dl) fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C) degrees.
Melt the butter over low to medium heat on the stove.
In a bowl mix the flour, sugar and vanilla sugar.
Pour the butter over the flour mixture and stir to a smooth dough .
Place the dough into the cake tin. Using your fingers, make a thin crust by pushing the dough evenly across the cake tin as well as up a bit on sides of the tin.
When finished, place the tin to rest for 10-15 minutes in the fridge. (this will allow the butter to harden when baking the crust the butter melts creating steam and making the crust flaky.)
Place the pie crust on the lower rack in the oven bake pie crust at 400 degrees F (200 C) for about 7-8 minutes remove and allow to cool.

In a bowl, whisk sugar and eggs to soft peaks, sift the flour into the bowl slowly alternating with whisking to make smooth batter, last add in the lemon juice.
Fill the crust with the lemon cream and bake for 10 minutes on the lowest rack in the oven.
Let pie cool before serving, this allows the cream to sit and gel a little bit.
Serve with whipped cream .

lemon pie-CF013257Plate from Anthropologie http://www.anthropologie.eu/anthro/index.jsp


An ancient Christmas sweet

December 17, 2013

Christmas time is just around the corner, my favorite Italian christmas sweet is a spicy , chewy fruit bread that ‘s called Paneforte. Its tradition are rooted deep in Siena and has been made by nuns since the twelveth century. The recipe has been pretty much remained unchanged, just a little change was made in the eighteenth century when chocolate became popular in Europe, and off course was added to this recipe, put all goodies you can get in the cake!

In this recipe Im using Pantellerias uva passa and Passito wine, if you don’t have this on hand you can use other raisins and exchange the Passito to Marsala or Port wine. You can make this Paneforte in good time before serving, well wrapped and contained it holds at least for 3 months.

Wish all of You a Merry Christmas
/ Annapaneforte -CF064061

1/2 Cup (1.2 dl) uva passa or raisins
1/3 Cup (0.8 dl) Passito di Pantelleria
1 Cup (2.4 dl) almonds
1 Cup (2.4 dl) walnuts
1/2 Cup (1.2dl) pistachios

2 Cups (4.8 dl) of mixed dried fruits
1 Orange (use only the orange peel)

1/3 Cup (0.8 dl) flour
1 teaspoon grounded cinnamon
A pinch of clove powder
1 teaspoon sea salt  flakes
1/2 Cup (1.2 dl) honey
1 Cup (2.4 dl) caster sugar
5 Oz (150 grams) dark chocolate ( 70%)

Remove the core in the uva passa and pour over the Passito wine.
Let stay for 1 hour.
Line a baking dish with nonstick paper and set the oven temperature at 350 F
(175 C) degrees

Dry toast the nuts lightly in a skillet on the stove over low heat, then chop the nuts roughly.
Remove the stones if using dried fruits with core, (for example dates) and chop the fruit roughly as well.
Grate the orange skin and mix together with fruits, nuts and the uva passa.
Don´t throw out the reamaining Passito wine!

Mix the flour and the spices well and after mix together with the fruit and nuts.
Crumble the sea salt between your finger and stir it all together.

Break the chocolate into pieces.
Melt the honey and sugar in a heavy saucepan on medium to low heat.
Once the sugar has dissolved add the chocolate and the leftover Passito wine.
Stir the bottom of the pan ( to make sure the sugar don’t burn) and simmer for a few  more minutes.

Pour into the bowl with the other ingredients and mixed thoroughly. Pour the paneforte batter into the cake tin and bake at the bottom of the oven at  350 F degrees ( 175 C)  for 15 -20 minutes.

Once the cake has completely cooled, wrap tightly in plastic wrap  or waxed paper and store in a  dry place.

Cut in pieces before serving.

Uva Passa and Passito Cake

December 4, 2013

This is the Pantescan variation of dried fruit cake, I can’t resist using our delicious uva passa , sun dried Zibibbo grapes (raisins) from this summer. Marinated in Passito di Pantelleria it brings out the essence of the island into this cake.  Serve the cake as an Italian breakfast with coffee or as a winter dessert with a spoon of whipped cream or marscapone. The cake can keep at least a month if you can resist not eating it all up.

uva passa half done-CF053734This is Zibibbo grapes drying in the sun, those became sweet delicious raisin now in my cake!

uva passa- centesimoCF050373 1

Uva Passa and Passito cake
9  Oz (250 grams) of  seedless uva passa or other raisins
1/2 Cup (1.2 dl) Passito di Pantelleria or other sweet wine like Marsala or Port
1/4 Cup (0.6 dl) almond flakes
1.2 Lb (545 gram) of soft butter
5 Eggs
3 Cups (7.3 dl) all purpose flour sifted
2 Cups (4.8 dl) sugar

Marinate the uva passa with the Passito allow them to marinate  for at least 6 hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 C).
Toast the almonds in a tablespoon of butter in a skillet over low heat.
The almonds should be toasted to a golden, be careful not to burn them.
Whisk the eggs and sugar until white and fluffy.
Whipped butter to a fluffy and soft.

Combine in batches, the egg mixture with the sifted flour into the whipped butter. Add the uva passa (also add the left over Passito in to the batter) and almonds.
Pour the batter into  parchment paper lined loaf baking pan .
Bake at  350 F degrees (175 C) for at least 90 minutes.
Check with a toothpick so that the cake is dry in the middle, if not continue baking and check every 10 minutes.

Let the cake cool down, wrap in foil and let rest until time to serve.

uva passa and passito cake-CF091417

Pumpkin cake for Halloween!

October 31, 2013

Here in the very south of Italy I have experienced that cakes are made with vegetable oil…not my thing at all. I’m a Swede, I love butter! I need my butter ! So my cakes are made with butter, basta. But if you, like all people I know here in Pantelleria, prefer baking with oil, you can exchange the butter in this recipe to sunflower oil. If  you do so, use 1 cup ( 2.4 dl) of oil instead of the 7 oz (200 grams) butter. I used a square cake tin sized 8 x 8 x 2 inches ( 20 x 30 cm) and if you are using a round one a good size would be 9.5 inches (24 cm) by diameter.

Have a happy Halloween!


Pumpkin Cake
Make 10 pieces
Square cake tin 8x8x2 inches (20 x 30 cm) or a round cake tin 9.5 inches ( 24 cm)

Cake ingredients
4 eggs
1 1/2 Cups (3.7 dl) sugar
7 oz (200 grams) butter or 1 cup (2.4dl ) of sunflower oil
1 1/2 Tablespoons cardamom (powder)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
2 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 1/2 Cups (3,7 dl) flour
2 Tablespoons fresh grated ginger (if not available ginger powder can be used 1 Tabelspoon)
2 cups (4,8 dl) of fresh grated pumpkin (canned pumpkin can be used if you cannot find fresh)

Frosting ingredients 
2 oz (56 grams) soft butter (room temperature
5.5 oz (155 grams) cream cheese (soften slightly room temperature)
1/2 cup (1.2 dl) icing sugar (confectioner’s sugar or powdered sugar)
1 lemon, zested and minced or grated
1 Tablespoon of lemon juice

Preheat the oven 300 F (150 C) degrees.
Line the baking tin with nonstick oven paper.
Grate the pumpkin using the a largest hole size on the grater .
Grate the ginger using a smallest size on the grater. (Halloween hint if you wrap the grater with plastic film prior to grating the ginger and or lemon. Proceed as normal this step will allow the grated ginger or lemon to stay on top of the plastic and not become caught in the grader and difficult to remove your spice and clean up the grader)
Mix these two together ingredients together using a fork.
Melt the butter.
Mix all the dry ingredients.
Beat the egg and sugar white and fluffy and mix with the rest of the ingredients until batter is smooth.
Pour the batter in the cake tin and bake for 50- 55 min.
Check the cake with a wooden toothpick  to make sure it’s ready.
The cake should be soft but not sticky inside.

Whip the frosting ingredients together in the order presented above until you get a smooth cream. When the pumpkin cake has cooled after baking, spread a thick layer of frosting over the pumpkin cake, cut pieces and serve, yum yum!

pumpkin cake-CF066729

happy halloween CF057618

Blackberries for Igor

September 23, 2013

1-blackberries ghirlanda-CF048840

The season for blackberries in Pantelleria is long. It begins in early July and ends in early September. The berries ripen, dry up and are then scorched by August’s heat. As soon as the weather begins to cool a bit, after the middle of August, the bushes bloom again and in come new berries. During my morning walks in Ghirlanda I pick them and eat them as a breakfast on the go. Sometimes I bring a basket to fill because Igor, the dog who usually refuses both fruits and vegetables, ADORES blackberries. He munches them up in seconds wagging his tail the whole time. Then he looks up at me as if to say, “Thanks! Can I have some more?” and his mustache is all purple. Watching him so happy fills my heart. I just love this guy!

Igorlove 1 blackberries IgorCF074547

Once in a while I make a cobbler that’s not too bad either. Served with vanilla ice cream, it is basically heaven on a plate.

Blackberry Cobbler
Serves 8
The recipe fits a baking pan of 9.5 in (24 cm) in diameter.
Grease the baking pan with butter.

9 oz (250 grams) room temperature soft butter
1 Tablespoon bourbon vanilla sugar
1 pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup (1.2 dl) almonds roughly chopped
1 cup (2.4 dl) caster sugar
1.5 cup ( 3.6 dl) of flour
4 cups (1 lit) of black berries

Mix all the ingredients for the dough using your hands.
Pour in the black berries in the baking pan and add the dough in dots or lumps around the berries
Bake at 400 degrees F (200C) for about 15 minutes.
Serve the cobbler with a good vanilla ice cream

3-blackberry crumbler-CF048502

Summer fruits

August 11, 2013

Summer is here with it’s all variety of delicious fruits like different types of plums, nectarines and peaches. Juicy and sweet straight from the trees in Favarotta, an area of agriculture here in Pantelleria. We eat the fruit for breakfast and make them into a juicy snack, to enjoy on the hot afternoons by the sea. I can not resist using these fruits in baking. One of may favorite desserts is the following delicious Peach and Almond blondie cake. Serve this cake with coffee and if you want, add a scoop of really good vanilla ice-cream and you have a scrumptious dessert.

Peach tree 1

peachtree 3-CF036891
Peach and Almond blondie

Makes 8-10 blondies
Cake tin size about 9 x 13 inches (25×35 cm)

9 oz (250 grams) of butter melted
4 eggs
2 1/3 cups (5.5 dl) granulated sugar
2 cup (256 grams) flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
3-4 ripe peaches or nectarines
1 ounces (25 grams) almond paste
2 ounces (55 grams) coarsely chopped sweet almonds
1 Tablespoon sugar to sprinkle over at last moment

Preheat the oven at 400 degrees ( 200 C)
Wash the fruit, cut in slices and remove the stone.

In a large bowl mix and whisk together the melted butter, sugar, eggs, flour, baking powder, vanilla sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice into a batter.

Line the bottom of the baking tin with parchment paper, pour in the batter. Next place slices of the peaches/nectarines in on the batter, sprinkle sugar over, grate almond paste grossly and finally sprinkle with almonds.

Bake at 400 degrees (200 C) for about 25-30 minutes.
Let cool down and cut in squares.
peachblondie 2CF041767

This recipe is also published in the Swedish magazine icakuriren summer issue 33/34

Apricots in rum and honey syrup

July 16, 2013

This week I went to see Centesimo and Anita, a couple that are devoting their life to farming in Scauri. Their land is full of fruit trees, the gave me and my friend Ines a full basket of peaches, prunes and this lovely apricots. For dessert that evening I made apricots in Rum, it was easy to make and the flavors really blended well together.



Apricots in rum and honey syrup
Serves 4
12 ripe apricots (washed)
1/2 cup (1.2 dl) caster (super fine) sugar
5 Tablespoon honey
1 cup (2.4 dl) rum ( both light and dark works)
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped from within the pod and added into the rum
8-10 mint leaves, finely sliced
12 pistacchio nuts, coarsely chopped
Optional: 4 Tablespoon whipped cream

Wash and cut the apricots in halves and peel the stone.
In a saucepan melt together rum, honey, sugar and vanilla and let it reduce by half, to become a syrup. Lower the heat and add the apricots few at a time to slightly simmer and to be coated by the liquid for about  3-5 minutes.

Do not over fill the pan add just enough apricots into the pan using a slotted spoon to turn and coat them in the syrup remove into a bowl, then place into the pan the next round of apricots. When complete allow the apricots to cool down in the bowl pour remaining syrup over them. Once cooled separate the syrup and apricots, strain the syrup through a sieve and cover the apricots.

Serve the apricots in a cocktail glass or similar glass bowl, 4 apricot halves for each portion, with a couple of tablespoons of the syrup, sprinkle some mint and pistachio nuts, if you desire as a garnish and top off with some whipped cream.

apricots in rum