It can be found in every Italian family’s recipe book—or, better yet, passed on by word of mouth from grandmother to grandmother, each with her own unique and inimitable recipe.
Some like theirs high and fluffy, perhaps with a sprinkling of castor or icing sugar, while others prefer to make it more like a tart instead. But one thing is certain: Everyone claims that their grandmother’s is the best!
It is impossible to forget the aroma that pervaded the house when the cake came out of the oven. If I close my eyes, I can still remember exactly how it smelled. It was a sweet and enveloping scent, comforting like none other, an aroma that was experienced not just with the nose but with the heart.
The choice of apple was not random: She used Renetta apples, which, truth be told, I have only ever eaten in that dessert! They have a unique flavour, very sweet and yet perfectly balanced by a note of tartness.
My grandmother is from Emilia, and I can say with certainty that her apple cake is the best I’ve ever eaten! She still had a gas oven when I was a child, and when the flakes of butter she distributed over the cake would melt, the crust it formed on top was to die for!