Elisabetta’s Quick Strawberry Layer Cake, Torta alle Fragole Elisabettiana

Fresh Strawberries!

Fresh Strawberries!

Elisabetta is very good at improvising with what we have on hand; the other day she found a store-bought pan di Spagna (roughly equivalent to pound cake, and she suggests one could use low-fat pound cake if need be) in the cupboard, and cream, milk, eggs, and strawberries in the fridge. The solution?

A layer cake.

  • 1 pound (500 g) strawberries
  • A round pan di Spagna 12 inches in diameter and 2 high (22 x 5 cm)
  • 1 cup (250 ml) heavy cream
  • 6 egg yolks to make crema pasticcera (pastry cream), together with the necessary milk, sugar, vanilla, flour, and salt

Her instructions:

Begin by began by hulling the strawberries and setting aside the best looking third of them. Blend the remainder, with a tablespoon or two of sugar.

Divide the pan di Spagna (or pound cake) into 2 one-inch thick layers, and spread the strawberry puree over the lower one (this is a good step to entrust to a child).

Make crema pasticcera using the yolks and other ingredients and let it cool, stirring it occasionally lest a skin form over it. In the meantime cut the reserved strawberries in half and whip the cream until it is quite fluffy. Fold the cream into the cool crema pasticcera to make Crema Chantilly, and spread about a third of it over the strawberry jam.

Replace the second layer of pan di Spagna over the first, and carefully spread the remaining crema Chantilly over the top of the cake. Arrange the halved strawberries in a decorative pattern atop the cake and chill it for an hour.

Enjoy!

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Categories: Italian Cakes and Pies

Author:Cosa Bolle in Pentola

Italy boasts an astonishing number of varietals, denominations, and wines, and tremendous changes are sweeping the land. New wines are being created, new DOCs are being introduced, and the existing denominations are overhauling their regulations both to reflect the practices adopted by their member wineries and to favor improvements in quality. Even the most staid and stolid region can flower seemingly overnight, emerging with exciting new wines and wineries that require rewriting the enological maps and rethinking one's positions. And, of course, recipes too, because cuisine and wine are closely intertwined and it's difficult to imagine one without the other.

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