La focaccia di mele di Elena Pardini


Cold weather, a lit fireplace, a cat and... inevitable apple pie.

We propose a special focaccia, from Elena Pardini's family recipe.

Sweet-eyed and always ready with a smile, Elena is the cook at the AA 'Alle Camelie' in Pieve di Compito, at the foot of Monte Pisano, on the edge of the woods. This is the area where camellias grow in gardens, nurseries, along the Visona, the stream that runs through the Compitese villages, and in the Sant'Andrea camellia grove. At the moment, camellias of the Sasanqua variety, our 'poinsettias', are blooming.

Apples everyone can choose their favourite variety, from the sourest to the sweetest. At this time of year, different varieties can be found at farmers' markets.
At the organic farmer's market in Lucca, at piazza San Francesco you can find Granny Smith, Royal Gala, Golden, Stark mema, Pink Lady, Gala Mema.

We recommend the Golden, sweet, fragrant and with a crisp, sugary pulp, it is the right choice for those who want to prepare a full-flavoured focaccia; the Pink Lady if you want a more delicate version, to accompany a good tea; the Stark Delicious, sweet-tasting with barely perceptible acid peaks, has a particularly juicy pulp suitable for a 'snack' version that can also be accompanied by red wine.

For those who want a superlocal and rustic version, we suggest the Casciana garfagnina. (Ask the Garfagnana food community where to find them).

At the farm, the olive pressing is being completed, and for the occasion Elena proposes a special version of the apple cake, in a focaccia version.

What you need

For the dough
200 g flour
15 g fresh brewer's yeast
100 ml whole milk
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
a pinch of salt
a tablespoon of sugar

For the filling

2 apples
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon chestnut honey
one tablespoon oil
cinnamon powder

how to make it:

Mix the flour with salt and sugar and pour it into a well on the pastry board.
You crumble the brewer's yeast into the centre by dissolving it in a few tablespoons of warm milk and using the fingertips of your fingers.
Incorporate the flour into the ingredients in the centre, adding the lukewarm milk from hand to hand.
The dough should be soft and elastic.
When it is sufficiently kneaded, make a ball, flour it and cover it with a napkin to let it rise in a warm place until the dough doubles in volume.
The dough is rolled out as for a pizza. The apples are peeled and sliced.
Arrange the apples in a circle. Sprinkle with sugar, honey, oil and a pinch of cinnamon.
Bake in a hot oven at 220 for about 15 minutes. Serve lukewarm.

The book: Cose buone by Elena Pardini
published by aa Alle Camelie

l'olio: AA alle Camelie
via della pieve 186 Pieve di Compito (Capannori)

le mele: AA Ezio Valentini
via Signorini, 34 56020 Castelfranco di Sotto,
tel. 338 490 0953

melòe sfuse al mercato di san francesco