Everything but the strudel

July 22, 2015

Necessity is the mother of invention, so when you haven’t blogged for a while, a story about mothers and food seems apt.


Not strictly a blog post

More a link

To a story on my regular contributors’ page at Living Well Navigator’s site

With a recipe to boot

Which is unusual for me

Consider it a bonus

Just add Italian liqueur


Baked Apples with a Twist



Watercolour apples by Ambra Sancin

Winter Apples, Ambra Sancin, c. 1981



  1. I loved the story — I used to call it strucolo and it was in the shape of a large “U” I am waiting for fall to make one — it’s too hot here right now. There are many variations some with a sweet bread dough as the crust and some like a crusty dough. Mamma did spike the raisins a bit – yum. Now my hubby grew up with apple dumplings and I made those a lot in our early days of marriage. Isn’t it funny that the more you talk about things, the more you remember. I will try your recipe for apples –less calories. Thank you for sharing!!

    • Thanks Maria Franca. Yes, struccolo is all my mother needed to say and we looked forward to the ‘u’ shaped goodness. I forgot to add in the recipe that you could douse the apples liberally with Italian liqueur and then sprinkle more sugar on top. Makes for a lovely, sugary crust.

  2. love the story, the recipe and that beautiful painting Ambra… and thank you for reminding me I’ve got some lovely apples to bake, how did you know? 🙂

    • Thanks Sylvi, the painting is out of the archives as I’ll be brushing up on my watercolour techniques soon. Go the apple! Catch up soon.

  3. Love the recipe and your memory of your mom making this dessert. Your article takes me back in time also. Looking forward to more from you Ambra.

    • Thanks Jovina, the smell of those apples baking is positively heady!

  4. What a beautiful painting and I started drooling as I read your first paragraph! I was in Berlin last year and had the most fantastic strudel not so easy to get it in London though.

    • Thanks. Maybe next time I make the baked apples I’ll try to paint the scorched, crumpled skins. A challenge for sure. It’s hard to get a really good strudel, here in Sydney too. A joy to eat.

  5. Hi Ambra, I agree–beautiful painting! I love the freshness of watercolour, and I look forward to your depiction of the crumpled skins. I am wondering–what sort of Italian liqueur would you use for the raisins?

    • Thanks Jeannette. I’d probably go for Amaretto (almond-flavoured) or my new favourite: ‘Solerno’ blood orange liqueur (it’s gorgeous). Or else, go bog-ordinary and use what my mother used: Marsala

      • Yum! Thanks, Ambra. I love all those suggestions. I’m going to track down Solerno on your recommendation!

      • Jeannette, I get my Solerno from Amato’s Liquor in Norton St. Leichhardt

  6. I love your painting and apples in season are a fave of mine.

    • Thanks. It’s amazing what you find in the archives!

  7. Hi Ambra, I like the recipe, but I’m astounded watching this watercolor, so great, excellent, and mighty. A million of congrats! xo

    • Thanks so much for your kind comments.

  8. Lovely painting.

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