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TORTA DI MELE : Chef Dennis Littley Guest Post

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Guess who stopped by to visit my blog today? I’m honored to introduce my good friend, Chef Dennis Littley. He is the Chef and Culinary Instructor at Mount Sinai Saint Joseph Academy in Flourtown, PA. His amazing site A Culinary Journey by Chef Dennis has won awards and is a great source of inspiration & guidance to  the food world.


 Please stay a while and enjoy what Chef Dennis brought for us …..


TORTA DI MELE : A Guest Post by Chef Dennis Littley


I would like to say hi to Betty Ann’s readers, for those of you that don’t know me, I’m chef Dennis, and it’s my great pleasure to be here today, helping her out while she’s on a much deserved vacation, it’s hard enough for me to keep up with one blog, I can’t imagine running two!   So thank you Betty Ann for having me here today and for sharing your blog with me, I am truly honored!


Today it gives me great pleasure to share with you a recipe taught to me by Mama Jeanette many years ago, it’s one of my favorite desserts, and it’s also one of the most reliable recipes I have.  No matter who I share this recipe with; the results are always the same……Delicious, and every time I make this buttery apple cake, I think back to a simpler time and the days I spent with Mama Jeanette……



The weather had changed that morning, it was the kind of day that really made you appreciate being alive. The air was cold and crisp, the cold wind held the scent of ripe apples from the nearby orchard, each breath felt like a gift from God.  Mama Jeanette said “Sonny Boy, let’s go pick us some apples” My mind went directly to a deep dish apple pie, but Mama Jeanette had other plans.  As I peeled the apples she explained we would be making a Torta di Mele, she went on to explain it was her mother’s recipe for an Italian Apple Cake that had been passed down through her family for generations, and now she was giving it to me.

That afternoon we sat by the fireplace, with a warm slice of apple cake and an espresso, it was a glorious day to be alive……and today my friends I’d like to pass along Mama Jeanette’s family recipe for Torta de Mele…….enjoy!




½ cup unsalted butter

3 apples cut into slices

2/3 cup flour

½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

2 whole eggs plus 1 egg yolk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup granulated sugar

½ tsp grated lemon zest

10 x sugar to dust



Preheat oven to 375 degrees, butter a 9” round cake pan

In a large frying pan over low heat, melt the butter, reserve 6 tablespoons for later.  Add the apple slices and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.

In a small bowl mix together flour, salt and baking powder. In a large bowl, beat the whole eggs and egg yolks until blended.  Add the butter, sugar, vanilla and lemon zest.  Stir in flour and apples.  Spoon into prepared pan, smoothing the top.

Bake until cake is browned, 30-35 minutes and transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes.

Invert cake onto plate to remove the pan and then invert again and return to rack to cool completely.

Before serving dust with 10x sugar. It goes great with fresh whipped cream, or even a scoop of ice cream.



THANK YOU Chef Dennis, for this amazing, treasured family recipe. I must make this one soon! Meanwhile, please head on over to his blog A CULINARY JOURNEY BY CHEF DENNIS. It has the most amazing recipes, the best advice, the greatest stories and a wonderful chef to warmly welcome you. You’ll never want to leave!


*I’ve had the privilege of being a guest, too, on Chef Dennis’ blog a few months ago. I had a great time sharing the Caramel Leche Flan with him and his readers.



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  1. Hello Betty!

    I’m a new follower to your blog. I am currently based in London. I have shared your site to all of my friends here in the UK and some in Europe and they all have one comment. Its about your use of traditional measurement system in your recipe. They find it a hassle to convert it to metric measurements which is what we use here in Europe. So we were wondering if you can add grams next to your cup measurement for us your european followers. If its not too much to ask.

    BTW, this TORTA DI MELE recipe sound very scrumptuos, can’t wait to have a go with it.

    1. Hi Kim, Thanks for the kind comments and following. Apologies for a late reply. I’ve been travelling overseas. I will do my best to find a way to add metric measurements to future recipes. And yes, this Torta Di Mele from Chef Dennis was a hit when I baked it!

    1. Hi Chef Dennis! Thanks so very much for sharing this delish family recipe Torta Di Mele! I baked it for my family while visiting overseas and it was superb! So grateful for your kind help while I was away!

  2. What a gorgeous cake, chef Dennis! My kids love apples and this looks and sounds so delicious. I need to keep this special cake. Thank you for sharing your family recipe with us… This beautiful recipe will be passed down to next generation…and even more widely (thanks to your post!!).

  3. Hi Betty Ann. I think this is my first time here. I am so pleased to visit and look forward to getting to know you. Hope you enjoy your vacation.

    Dennis this is wonderful and I love that it has sentimental attachment to it. I shall have to make this and sit by the fireplace. I am sure it would be a wonderful way to spend the afternoon.

  4. Enjoy your well deserved vacation Betty Ann. We are glad that we can have Chef Dennis here to share his Mama Jeanette’s Torta De Mele with us. Great cake and great post as usual. Thank you Chef Dennis for sharing this mouthwatering cake with us šŸ™‚ Love it and have KIV this simple to make and yet delicious cake for my next bake ! * oink

    1. Hi Elin! Thanks for stopping by when Chef Dennis came to my blog with his guest post. The Torta Di Mele was a hit….I baked it while visiting family overseas and they loved it!

    1. Hi Maureen, this was a TERRIFIC cake from Chef Dennis. I baked this while I was visiting family overseas! It’s so versatile and fantastic. You can bake it anywhere you are in the world!

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