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Entries in desserts (18)


Easy Blueberry Crostata

Have you ever made a crostata?  You might have been scared off because it requires making dough, but if you have a food processor, you can use my 60-second pie dough recipe, and that makes this a super quick and easy dessert to make.  You can use whatever fruit you like, but the blueberries are so great right now that I used those. 

One of the nice things about crostata is that it is free form - there is no crust to crimp or pan to line perfectly. You just roll out the dough, place the filling in the middle and fold the dough up around the filling.  Also, you can make this dessert earlier in the day and let it sit in the fridge until you're ready to bake it.  Love that!

Blueberry Crostata

for a printable recipe, click here
serves 6-8

I use salted butter in my pie dough recipe, so you don't need to add additional salt

for the dough:
1¾ cups AP flour
1 Tablespoon sugar 
1½ sticks butter (not unsalted), cut into slices
¼ cup (scant) ice cold water

for the filling and topping:
3 cups fresh blueberries
½ cup sugar
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 Tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla sugar or just turbinado sugar (an unprocessed, coarse sugar)

Make the pie dough: 
Place the flour and sugar in a food processor and give it a whirl to blend. Add the slices of butter and process again, pulsing until the butter is all broken up.  Add half the ice water and pulse.  Keep pulsing until the dough gathers together into a ball. If it doesn't, add a little bit more of the water and pulse.  You may not use all the water. Give it a minute to gather up.  Place the dough on a floured piece of plastic wrap and flatten into a disc. Flour the top of the dough, wrap it up and place it the fridge for at least 30 minutes.  You can make this dough ahead and just keep it in the fridge if you want. 

Make the filling:
Place the blueberries in a medium bowl.  In a small bowl, place the sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest and juice and cinnamon and blend well with a fork or whisk. Pour over the blueberries and toss to coat thoroughly.  At this point, you can also place the filling in the fridge until you are ready to assemble the dessert for baking.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Place a piece of baking parchment on a rimmed baking sheet.  Take the dough out of the fridge, unwrap it and let it sit for a good 15 minutes on the plastic wrap.  Place another piece of plastic wrap on top of the dough (flour the dough a little).  With a rolling pin, roll the dough out into a 12 to 13-inch disc.  I like to smack the dough with my rolling pin to flatten it a little to get it started.  If the dough is hard to roll out, let it sit for about 5 minutes and it will relax.  Come back to it and it will roll out easily.  The plastic wrap will keep it from sticking to the counter and the rolling pin.  Wrap the dough a little over the rolling pin and transfer it to the baking parchment.  

Place the filling on top of the dough, leaving at least a 2-inch border of dough with no filling.  Dot the filling with the butter and fold the dough over the filling, leaving the center with no dough.  Brush the dough with the beaten egg and sprinkle with the sugar.  Bake for about 45 - 55 minutes, until the dough is golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to sit and cool before you serve it.  It's great with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. 


Italian Cenci


Carnevale will be starting soon in Italy and these little delicious morsels called cenci are a traditional treat during that time.  They are very much like the elephant ears we have in this country - fried pieces of dough, dusted in powdered sugar.  There are many different recipes for them and different names.  I've made mine with the fresh taste of orange zest and a little rum.  

Click to read more ...


Cranberry Tart


Doesn't this just look like Christmas?  I love anything with cranberries during the holidays and this tart fits right in.  It's made with an easy tart dough that you can just press right into the pan.  It's then filled with a creamy, cheesy filling and topped with a cranberry/orange topping that's delicious.

ceramic plate from Fifty One and a Half


If you've never made a tart before, don't be afraid of it.  You don't really even have to roll out this dough like a pie dough - you can just takes pieces of dough and press it right into the pan.  I roll out the dough a little and then just lay it in the pan and start pressing it over the bottom and up the sides. Easy as can be. 


Cranberry Tart

Makes one 11" tart 

for a printable recipe click here


For the dough: 

  • 1-1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1-1/2 sticks of butter (3/4 cup or 12 tablespoons), cut into slices
  • 3 drops almond extract
  • 3 drops vanilla extract
  • 2-1/2 tablespoons ice water

For the cheese filling:

  • 16 ounces mascarpone cheese (or cream cheese) room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest

For the cranberry topping:

  • 1 12-ounce bag fresh cranberries
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest



For the tart dough: Put the flour and sugar in a food processor. Process til blended. Add the butter in slices and process. Add the extracts and  just enough water that it gathers up into a ball when you process it. Flatten the dough into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap with a little flour to prevent sticking and chill for at least 30 minutes or until you are ready to use it. Then take it out and let it sit at room temperature for about 5-10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Roll the dough out into an 11-inch tart pan. This dough does not roll out easily like a pie dough - it is easier to press it into the tart pan.  Press it evenly over the bottom and up the sides and then prick the bottom with a fork.  Bake for about 15 minutes. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes before filling.

For the cheese filling:  Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Beat all ingredients in a mixer until smooth.   Pour into tart shell. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove and allow to cool completely before adding topping.

For the cranberry topping: Boil first 5 ingredients in a saucepan until sugar melts.  Simmer for about 5 minutes.  The cranberries will start to burst.  Remove from heat and stir in orange zest.  Let cool completely. Pour onto top of cooled tart and spread evenly over top. 



other Cranberry recipes you might enjoy:

Cranberry Appetizer Bites


Cranberry Upside Down Cake


Sparkling Cranberries