Today it's raining… well, saying that it's raining it's reductive, 'cause it's pouring from yesterday, without interruption. Now Turin and the entire Piedmont are on the highest alert, 'cause the Po river could overflow, or it could appen to of the many other rivers of this region (and some river already overflowed in the area of Alessandria). We are hoping that this is not another 1994 or 2000 (years of two big floods), that this time water would spare these areas.
But my thought inevitably goes to the Region nearby, Liguria, where Cinque Terre and then Genoa went through an inundation (and unfortunately it's not finished yet), the same or maybe worse (but looking for the worst it's a reallysick exercise) than the one we have seen here.. we would like that such facts don't happen anymore, not in 2011, not in the "civilized" world, not in historical cities survived for centuries and suddenly at risk, and all for negligence leading to disasters that on the lips of politicians are always unpredictable (and I wonder who still believes them).
In short, who now is in the North West of Italy, but not only there, please stay at home, don't go in the streets unless it's absolutely necessary, avoid unnecessary risks. Even if it's Saturday, and we would like to go out, to distract ourselves from a work week made more intense for having seen or experienced tragedies too close to our front door, make the effort to stay at home, watch a movie, read a book, follow the weather news and ask ourselves, really, if we can do something to help our neighbors in need. The only concession allowed to this plan is a hot tea and an apple square, to comfort ourselves.
Ingredients (for a 20×15 cm baking pan. Mine was slightly bigger than that)
* 600 g apple (for me 3 big renette apples)
* 60 g sugar
* 2 tablespoons of brandy or other liqueur of your choice (e.g amaretto)
* 2 eggs
* grated rind of a lemon
* 80 g all-purpose flour
* 250 g milk
* 15 g butter
* brown sugar (optional)
Peel the apples and cut them into thin slices; then place them in a bowl, pour two tablespoons of liqueur on them and add half of the sugar, leaving them to marinate for about 15 to 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the batter: in a bowl beat the eggs with the remaining sugar, grated lemon rind and flour. When you have a smooth mixture, add milk little by little, stirring constantly. Add the apples (with the marinade) to the batter and stir gently.
Preheat oven to 390° F (200° C).
Line a rectangular 20×15 cm baking pan (as mentioned before, mine was slightly bigger than that) with parchment paper (or greas and flour the pan) and pour the batter inside. Then, spread on top some brown sugar (if desired) and little knobs of butter. Cover the pan with a sheet of aluminum foil and bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and continue cooking for another 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, let it cool down and then cut into squares.
This sweet is really delicious, it's a soft cake that reminded me a clafoutis (or, better, a flognard), but with the sliced fruit. It's full of delicious apples, light and perfect for a breakfast or an afternoon snack, but also perfect when you need a little comfort, climatic or not.