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It’s no secret that I love aubergines, or eggplants as some of you call them, or … well for argument’s sake let’s call them melanzane, the Italian word. So, it’s no secret that I love melanzane and would probably eat them every day, if I could. When cooked properly, they have the same mouth-puckering strength as a quality mature cheese. It’s no secret that I love cheese, or fromage, or … well let’s call it formaggio.

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I’m delighted to present to you my first video recipe for Chestnuts and Truffles TV on YouTube. I really enjoyed making this video since I was able to go into a lot more detail about techniques, particularly with the pasta frolla, or shortcrust pastry, than you can in a recipe. You also get to see a bit of Tuscany and you’ll be seeing a lot more as I get out and about in future videos.  The full recipe including all the ingredients is below. Buon appetito!


Crostata di Ciliegie

Serves 6
250g / 2 cups plain flour
50g 1/4 cup granulated sugar
5g / 1 teaspoon salt
< 120g / 1/2 cup water
125g / 1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 pot jam


  1. Put the flour, sugar, and salt into a bowl.
  2. Add the butter and rub in with your fingers until you have achieved the consistency of breadcrumbs.
  3. Add enough water to bring the mixture together into a dough. Wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for one hour.
  4. Butter a pie tin. Roll the pastry out to fill the bottom of the pie tin. Prick the base of the pastry with a fork. Keep the leftover pastry. Refrigerate the pastry case for one hour.
  5. Roll out and cut the remaining pastry into eight strips with a pasta wheel.
  6. Cover the bottom of the pastry case with jam.
  7. Place the strips of pastry over the top of the jam in the form of a lattice.
  8. Bake at 180°C / 355°F for 35-40 minutes. Allow to cool completely before serving.