This article, written by Lisa Futterman, appears on Chicago Tribune.
Make Italian dessert zuppa inglese now that obscure liqueur is here
This sweet story begins in the pastry kitchen of a Philadelphia Italian fine-dining restaurant, where I worked as a pastry chef in the late 1980s. We turned out tray after tray of zuppa inglese, our banquet dessert — layers of rum-soaked sponge cake and cream, the cake dyed pink with grenadine. “Those Italians,” was my thought at the time, “why do they need a pink dessert?”
Fast-forward to a recent trip to the Emilia Romagna — a lingering lunch in a trattoria in the countryside; cured meats, pasta and big spoonfuls of zuppa inglese from a huge bowl on the dessert cart. On return, it was time to re-create that ending and rekindle those memories. My traveling companion insisted we could not make zuppa inglese without alkermes, the traditional Tuscan cherry-red liqueur used as a bagna per dolci (bath for sweets). At the time, alkermes was unavailable in the U.S., so he bravely embarked on making his own, armed with a recipe translated from a book on Italian liqueurs.
The Luxardo version of alkermes recently became available domestically, just in time for baking season. Read more and get the recipe at Chicago Tribune…
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