Ciao Italia: My Lifelong Food Adventures in Italy
Mary Ann's newest book contains over 150 recipes, 60 gorgeous food photos, and many scenic pictures of Italy taken by Mary Ann on her travels through the years.
4 whole eggs
1/3 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 tsp lemon zest
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
PISTACHIO CREAM FILLING
2 1/2 ounces natural pistachios
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
4 egg yolks
2 cups milk
1 tablespoon Alkermes liqueur (optional)
2 tablespoons sugar
For the cake, pre-heat the oven to 350ºF. Butter a jellyroll pan and set aside. Dust a clean kitchen towel with confectioners' sugar and set aside.
Beat the eggs with the sugar and lemon zest in a large bowl until light and fluffy, then beat in the butter. Set aside.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together. Sprinkle the flour mixture a little at a time over the egg mixture as you blend with a hand mixer, then add water and vanilla.
Spread the batter on the jellyroll pan and bake for 10-15 minutes, or just until the top and edges are nicely browned and the cake springs back when touched with your finger.
Turn the pan over onto the towel lightly dusted with confectioners' sugar. Starting at the short end of the cake, roll it up gently in the towel and let cool.
For the pistachio cream filling, grind the nuts and 1/2 cup of the sugar until powdery in a food processor or with a mortar and pestle.
In a saucepan off the heat, beat the egg yolks with the remaining sugar until the mixture is lemon colored; then beat in the flour. Slowly stir in the milk. Cook the mixture over medium high heat until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Remove the mixture from the heat, and stir in the pistachio and sugar mixture.
Transfer the pistachio cream to a bowl and cover the top with a piece of buttered wax paper. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
Line a 2-quart bowl with plastic wrap, allowing excess to hang over the edges of the bowl.
Unroll the cake and spread it with the amarena cherry filling; then carefully spread a thin layer of the pistachio cream over the cherry filling. Re-roll the cake, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour.
Using a serrated knife, cut the cake into 1/2-inch slices. Place a few slices in the bottom of the bowl and cover with a layer of pastry cream. Add another layer of cake, positioning the layers against the inside walls of the bowl and add more pastry cream. Be sure to put a few pieces of cake in the center as you layer filling and cake. The top layer should be cake. Fold the overhanging plastic wrap over the cake and refrigerate until ready to serve.
In a bowl, whip the cream with the Alkermes and the sugar until stiff.
Turn the bowl over to unmold the cake onto a decorative serving dish. Remove the plastic wrap and discard.
Fit a large pastry bag with a #2 star tip. Fill the bag with the whipped cream and pipe a decorative border around the base of the cake and at the top if desired. Cut into wedges to serve.