Best Ever Fresh Roasted Pumpkin Pie – No Evaporated Milk – Zero kilometer – we say that in Italy when its local

The only way is the BEST way in Italy I found out after making the best pumpkin pie in my life!

Roast about 2 pounds of fresh pumpkin wedges to get 2 cups of puree

…then add 2 large beaten eggs, 1/4 cup light cream or milk, 3/4 cup sugar, tbsp of flour,  1 tsp vanilla, spices of preference and Bam!  You just need to pour into the pie crust you already made.

I doubled the recipe to make them deep dish.    Here is the pie crust I used:…/old-fashioned-flaky-pie-dough-recipe 



1 pastry for single crust pie – 9 inch

2 eggs slightly beaten

2 cups pumpkin puree

1/4 cup cream, half & half or milk

1 tbsp flour

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp ground cloves


To make puree :place  2-3 pounds of fresh pumpkin wedges on sheet pan  in 200 degree  oven for 25 minutes or until knife inserts easily into flesh – remove from oven, cool then peel skin and let drain in strainer of excess liquid for 30 min. or longer

Line a 9 inch pie pan with pastry, crimp edge as desired and chill until ready to fill

In large bowl stir together eggs, pumpkin and cream or milk.

Stir in sugar, flour, vanilla, salt and spices

pour mixture into prepared pie pan

To prevent over browning, cover edge of pie with foil

Bake in 375 oven for 25 minutes

remove foil

bake for 40 minutes more until a knife inserted near center comes out clean

cool on wire rack

cover and refrigerate within 2 hours





Decadent Maple Pecan Pie – no corn syrup- no lard!

Best Pecan Pie ever!

Real Maple Syrup and Coconut oil Crust make it a champion of health and deliciousness!


I’m in Kentucky cooking for my 90 year old Uncle Bill and since he loves pecan pie and we want to keep him alive much longer so I experimented with a non- toxic version of  one of my favorite decadent desserts.  

How obvious to put real maple syrup instead of  GMO chemical corn syrup!  Maple is a marriage made in heaven for pecans!  And coconut oil instead of lard (crisco) for the crust keeps it flakey and I love the subtle coconut flavor it adds.  I made the crust with butter but there is a non dairy version- There is butter in the Pecan pie too so what’s the point?

Recipe for the  clean Maple Pecan pie from epicurious:

Recipe for the  Coconut Oil Crust from Yesterfood – with or without dairy:

Best Tiramisu`


I have researched many Tiramisu` recipes from Milan to Rome to Santa Barbara and Chattanooga and worldwide with the internet and came up with my favorite version of this dessert. It has liquor but not too much, cookie is soaked through so there are no dry spots and the cream is in it’s purest form and oh soooo creamy and delicious. You want to taste the flavor of the mascarpone which is the Italian decadent cheese that this recipe is founded upon.

The Best Tiramisu`

6 eggs, yolks from freshest eggs possible- you won’t have to worry about salmonella bacteria but you can do this step over gently boiling water if you are concerned. I never do it and I’ve never been sick.
1 cup sugar
16 oz mascarpone- usually it’s 2 containers
2 tbsp sweet Marsala
4 tbsp Kahlua
1 cup freshly made espresso coffee or strong coffee
About 16-24 savoiardi biscuits – 1- 8 oz package
Cocoa powder, to dust and or high quality dark chocolate curls

Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until pale yellow, thick and voluminous- you should have ribbons falling from the blade that dissolves into the batter. When the beaters are lifted, a bit of the mixture falls from it and forms a ribbon, which slowly dissolves on the surface.

Whisk in the mascarpone, a little at a time, until smooth and well combined
Stir the booze into the coffee and pour into a shallow dish. Dip each biscuit into the liquid until it is a pale coffee color. I count 2 seconds each side.

Arrange the dipped cookies to cover the base of a shallow glass dish.
Spoon a third of the mascarpone mixture on top, followed by a good sprinkle of cocoa.
Repeat the layers, finishing with a layer of the cream and cocoa.
Cover and refrigerate for six hours before serving
Dust again with a little more cocoa to make it look awesome and/or chocolate curls made with a vegetable peeler.








Super Easy Super Delicious Fruit Crostata from Rome – family Garassini

20150523_17043620150523_162730 20150523_161222 My good friend Laura Garassini in Rome gave me this family recipe from her sister Carla.  I made this and brought it to friends tonight and they loved it!  I loved it! And it is so easy!  You just have to have a good marmalade since that’s the main ingredient.
Italian Fruit Crostata
Crostata di Carla ( Laura’s sister)

2 cups al purpose flour
2 sticks butter – cut in cubes at room temp
2 egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
pinch of salt
zest of 1 lemon
2 tbsp Marsala or Sherry
1 jar of your favorite marmalade

Make the dough:
In food processor mix flour, salt and sugar.
Then add egg yolks.
Mix until forms a ball adding water if needed.
Wrap in plastic and let rest for 30 min. to an hour in fridge.
Remove half of dough from fridge.
Preheat oven to 400
Roll out to fit tart pan.
Poke holes in bottom crust.
Mix the Marsala into the marmalade.
Spread onto bottom crust.
Take other half of crust and roll out to make strips.
Make strips both ways across the marmalade, pressing on the edges to seal.
Bake for 20-25 minutes

Indicazione in Italiano:
Fare pasta frolla – durante l’impasto se risulta troppo secco aggiungere 1 dito d’acqua – e lasciare riposare in frigo ,coperta per ½ h, 1 h.
Ne stendo metà, o ¾ e bucherello il fondo con una forchetta. Ricopro la pasta con la marmellata. Faccio le strisce da mettere sopra con il resto della pasta e il bordo. In forno, ½ h a 200°.

Make Ahead Strawberry Whipped Cream that doesn’t fall or melt for hours!


Make Ahead Strawberry Whipped Cream
No more whipped cream liquid lake! It will stay stiff for hours!
Frosts 1, 8-inch layer cake.  I use an already made Angel Food Cake when I’m in a hurry.

1/3 cup granulated sugar
1-tablespoon cornstarch
3 cups cold heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup strawberries – smashed into a chunky puree

1. Place the sugar and cornstarch in a small saucepan. While stirring constantly, pour in 3/4 cup of the cream. Place the pan over medium heat and, stirring constantly, bring to a boil (it will be lumpy, but will smooth out). Remove from the heat, stir in the vanilla, and let cool completely, about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, place the remaining 2 1/4 cups cream in the bowl of a stand mixer and refrigerate.
2. When the cornstarch mixture has cooled, fit the chilled bowl of cream onto the stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, whisk on medium speed until tracks begin to show in the cream, about 2 minutes. With the mixer still on, slowly add the cornstarch mixture and continue whisking until stiff peaks form, about 1 to 2 minutes more.
3. This is where I add the already squished strawberries- about a cup or more. Continue to mix in mixer just until blended and voila! Pink whipped cream!
4. The whipped cream can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days or left out at room temperature for up to 3 hours. I have left frosted cakes for hours that stay intact!