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Santo Stefano.. National Day of Leftovers, Chocolate Pear Torte

Posted in Abruzzo, Caro Diario.(dear diary..), cucina, cucina povere, Culinary Art, desserts, Holidays, La Dolce Vita, recipes, slow food, the Mediterranean diet, Travel & customs, and Uncategorized


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Today, after weeks and weeks of baking and cooking for the Holidays, a sort of  inventory of all the leftovers is taken… The day after Christmas, Santo Stefano (Saint Stephen’s Day) has become known as the national day of leftovers. Italian cooks tend to over prepare….it is just simply not possible to eat as much as is there is the inevitable leftovers filling every kitchen.


I have a leftover basket of pears from my organic farm and 2 trays of amaretti cookies, baking chocolate and half a bottle of Zebibo – a sweet wine from Sicily. The supermarket is not open..a quick inventory of my fridge and there is just the right amount of ingredients for a Chocolate Pear Torte..

amaretti cookies

Zebbibo wine has become a fave of mine here, it is made in Sicily. But if you can’t find this sweet wine then substitute a Vin Santo or Pantelleria wine




Chocolate Pear Torte


7 ripe Pears

4 eggs

1 1/2 cups Zebbibo WIne

8 ounces Baking chocolate

3/4 cup butter

1 cup Flour

1/2 cuo Sugar

1/2 cup crushed Amaretti cookies

Peel, core pears, cut each pear into 4 pieces. Place in sauce pan with wine. Heat till wine has evaporated for approximately 20 minutes.  In a double boiler, melt chocolate with 1/2 cup butter, when melted set aside and let cool.   In another bowl, mix egg yolks with  1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup softened butter  till creamy.  Blend in chocolate mixture. Add in crushed amaretti,  flour, baking powder Blend till creamy compost.

In a separate bowl, whip egg whites with sugar till peaks form. Gently fold this into chocolate mixture.

Butter and flour a cake pan. Pour in 1/2 batter. Arrange pear slices around cake pan on top of batter. Pour in remaining batter on top of pear slices. Bake in oven preheated to


Place flour into mixture a little at a time. Place in crushed amaretti cookies. When well blended, blend melted chocolate mix into egg yolk mix ,a little at a time till well blended.

Whip egg whites till peaks form. Gently fold  whipped egg whites into chocolate mixture. Place a layer of cake batter ,about 1 inch thick in cake pan. Arrange sliced pears on top of cake batter, pour in remaining batter. Bake for 40 minutes in oven preheated to 375 degrees. Let cool before removing from pan and top with powdered sugar.



Stay tuned for more recipes ,we are in Holiday mode here  till January 6th (La Befana) for more Holiday recipes and stories get your copy of The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays & Special Occasions-2nd edition. And you can get the digital version exclusively at

May 3, 2012, Join me on  luxury cruise to Italy and the Mediterranean

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