Rustic miascia is certainly the most enjoyed cake of Lake Como. It is deliciously healthy. Paired with a good fortified wine, it can also be transformed into an irresistible dessert.
Miascia is one of the traditional peasants’ sweets prepared with stale bread with dried and fresh fruits. This recipe is an healthier version of the traditional miascia. The main different is that I use whole grain bread, whole grain flour and brown sugar.
Lake Como’s cuisine is modest, it is precisely this simplicity that fascinates tourists.
The lake flavor is predominant, but rustic mountain ingredients are not lacking. Many dishes represent this modest tradition, like several types of rich polenta: the polenta taragna, polenta uncia or tocc polenta. These dishes are particularly enjoyed in winter when heartier meals are more desirable.
During warmer seasons the lake fish is the king of the dishes such as the – “missultin” – salted and sundried shad, or baked lavarello, or also perch fillet served with risotto. This is one the most appreciated dishes for its delicate flavor.
Lake Como has always been a popular destination for aristocrats since Roman times, offering many artistic and cultural gems. Famous people have or have had homes on the shores of Lake Como, as it is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful lakes in Europe.
I have wondered many times what makes our lake so special and irresistible to foreigners? …The beauty of the picturesque settings is certainly important, with the charming villages along the shores, the beautiful villas, and last but not least, the typical family restaurants where you can have local dishes; in just a few words – the Italian lifestyle.
Foreigners like to experience the Dolce Vita on the lake by enjoying simple things, that most of the times we take for granted, such as a cappuccino, an aperitivo in the piazza or on a terrace overlooking the lake, a simple and rustic meal in a trattoria or just visiting the local food market, an explosion of colors and flavors.
The market experience is a stimulating assault on the senses: the smell of herbs and spices, fresh seafood, fresh cheese – not to mention the dozens of rows of colorful produce! Check cooking class page if you want to make a tour of the market with me!
400 g (14 oz) stale whole grain bread with seeds
15 amaretti cookies, crushed
350 ml (1 1/2 cups) whole milk
50 g (about 2 oz) toasted pine nuts
150 g (5 oz) raisins
70 g (1/3 cup) brown sugar
3 medium apples
2 medium pears
1 organic lemon, zest
50 g (3 tablespoons) butter, melted
2-3 tablespoons whole grain flour
Powdered sugar for decoration
1. Toast the pine nuts in a frying pan over low heat for a few minutes until golden brown. Cool and set aside.
2. Cut the bread into small pieces and soak in a large bowl with milk. Let stand for about 2 hours. Add more milk if the bread is not soaked enough. The amount of milk depends on the type of bread used and how stale it is. Sometimes you need a little bit less milk, so start with a smaller amount. It has to be wet but not soggy. Add more if necessary
3. Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F)
4. Cut apples and pears into thin slices and add immediately to the bread with the remaining ingredients (pine nuts, amaretti, raisins, eggs, sugar, lemon zest, butter and flour). Mix all ingredients together well
5. Wet and wring out some baking paper and line a baking pan (25 cm, 10 inches diameter) with it, to prevent the cake from sticking. Wetting the paper allows it to follow the sides of the pan better.
6. Pour the batter into the pan and cook for 15 minutes. After this time, lower the temperature to 150°C (300°F) and bake for about 30 -35 minutes until golden on the top.
7. Remove from oven and let cool on a rack for about 15 minutes. While your cake is still warm, sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve immediately. If you don’t plan to eat it immediately, add the powder sugar just before enjoying it. – Paola