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Antipasti & Dolci

Italian Breakfast

From a young age we were taught that breakfast at home is an art and, no matter how late you are in the morning, before leaving the house you must find time for Caffè-latte (coffee and milk) and biscuits..

Breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day, the way you start your morning will influence your mood and attitude towards the rest of the day and the ones around you. Whether you have your breakfast at home while holding a biscuit in one hand and the keys of your car in the other, after your morning run, before going to school with a big bowl filled with milk and cereal, in bed with a full tray and flowers (as in your dreams) or relaxing listening to Mina’s songs, you’ll feel like everything can still happen, worries seem to respect that serenity and step aside.

Even if we talk very often about breakfast al bar made up of coffee and croissants, for most Italians the home-made breakfast with family is sacred, that moment of peace, of calm before the frenzy, is worth the effort… ignoring the fact that many of us would never be able to leave the house without that first coffee, making caffè al bar second (of a long series) of the day.

The nice thing about the Italian breakfast is that everyone loves to address it in their own way.

Many wake up earlier to prepare it, and many others are lovers of packaged products no less linked to the morning ritual. You put the moka on the fire and taste the Gentilini rusks (biscuits), the tall ones that go perfectly with honey.

We compete for the last slice of bread and Nutella.

The water for drinking tea is heated with a slice of lemon.

Green-apple juice or ACE, which stands for Vitamins A, C & E and is made up of apple, orange and lemon juice, for those who are always late and for whom fresh squeezed juice becomes the sweet Sunday utopia.

Plumcake, Pan di Stelle and Gocciole need no introduction.

Latte, whether cold or hot, reminds us of childhood.

The espresso is prepared, the milk is heated and the two meet strictly in a cup with a large base so to facilitate the immersion of biscuits or donuts.

My father always had the task of preparing the juice with fresh oranges at his disposal, patience and care. Designated as an expert, with no negative opinions to date, especially since he introduced the pomegranate variant: a marvel for the eyes, and even better for the body. 

The moka is breakfast’s main ingredient, the preparation of coffee is a real ritual, when the moka begins to sputter, the perfume invades the whole kitchen. 

Slice the fruit to accompany the white yogurt and arrange the rusks.

Ricotta, honey and walnut cake is simply an unbeatable addition to the symphony. 

The time has come to toast the bread so that it can be served still warm.

Butter is waiting impatiently to be spread on bread accompanied by seasonal jam.

Grandma’s recipe, made with love by my mother with pine nuts and custard, is taken out of the oven as soon as everything else is ready, it seems to perfectly respect the harmony of the moment.

Powdered sugar is sprinkled on top and then brought to the table.

Each step involves care and seems to animate the other elements present at the table.

 

The recipes of sweet delights for a top notch homemade breakfast are infinite, but let’s start with basics. Crema Pasticcera “Cream Pastry” is a great addition to most cakes, croissants, or anything with shortcrust pastry or simply eaten as is, in a bowl, with a spoon, with a few raspberries and strawberries on top!  While, the other recipe, is a more of a breakfast classic, or better necessity during this time of the year: orange jam — sweet and sour at the same time — perfect to spread on hot bread or rusks. Also perfect for a summer merenda enjoyed with bare feet and wet hair.

 

CREAM PASTRY

 INGREDIENTS

 

  • 500 grams of milk
  • 130 grams of sugar
  • 80 grams of egg yolks
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 35 grams of cornstarch

 

PREPARATION

  1. Bring the milk with half the sugar to a boil
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks, vanilla, salt and the remaining sugar
  3. Add sifted starch
  4. Add the boiling milk and bring everything to a boil

It can be served hot or kept in the fridge when warm.

 

ORANGE JAM

 INGREDIENTS

 

  • 1 Kg of peeled oranges
  • 600 grams of sugar
  • Peels of 1 orange per kg of oranges
  • 1 grated apple
  • 1 lemon squeezed for each kg
  • 8 jars capacity about 200 gr

 

 PREPARATION

  1. Peel the oranges making sure to remove all the white part, cut each clove into three parts, put in a saucepan (with a thick bottom). Bring to a boil and leave over medium heat for 40 minutes
  2. Remove the pot from the stove and blend the mixture with an immersion blender
  3. In parallel, cut the julienne orange peel (very thin strips). Bring the water to a boil and once brought to a boil, throw in the orange peel and let them boil for a few minutes, drain. Change the water and repeat the operation 3 times. Once ready, the peels will be added to the pulp with the lemon juice and grated apple
  4. Maintain a moderate heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. The jam will be ready after passing the “saucer test”: put a saucer with a spoonful of jam in the freezer for 2 minutes, once taken out if the jam is consistent, it is ready. Otherwise, continue cooking for another 5/10 minutes
  5. Fill the jars (previously sterilized) with the boiling jam. Once closed, turn them over to create the vacuum effect and let them cool

The next day they can be placed in the pantry.