• Nicoletta Fornaro

My Perfectly Imperfect Pumpkin and Dark Chocolate Pie


Oh my gosh! It's already mid October and in less than a week I am turning 32! Can't believe how fast time goes and how many things happen in life. The season of fog in Venice has officially started and with the fog ... the traditional high tide too! As you must have learnt by now, I am more of a summer person ... although I discovered that food photography is a great remedy for meteorophaty, as I don't need to use the diffuser and can work with natural light for longer hours. My ideal day, in fact, would be foggy until about 1 or 2 pm, sunny and warm in the afternoon, and then chilly again, sufficiently cold to make one want to go to the cinema or inside a nice museum or cafeteria.

Speaking about movies... have you seen Joker yet? I did about 10 days ago and it was great, I'm still thinking about it. I won't spoil it for you, but I will say that it is very very very sad and that I loved Arthur Fleck from the beginning and just wanted to hug him and tell him that everything is okay. What is so disturbing -at least for me- about that movie is how it speaks to us of current times, of what is considered right and what wrong and -mostly- about who decides what everyone should think and how everyone should behave... I'll stop here otherwise I'd have to go into detail, but if you still haven't, go see it.

Whereas, with regard to exhibitions, I still haven't been to Biennale. Shame on me, I know... it's just that I am waiting for Vito to come with me and the man hasn't had a full free day since the first of September! But I will soon, and take pictures too, promise. Instead, I returned to Palazzo Ducale to re-visit 'From Titian to Rubens'. The lighting in those painting is simply magnificent, dark yet warm and so enveloping I felt I was looking into the eyes of real living human beings. Besides, the Doges Palace is always impressive, especially the Sala del Maggior Consiglio.

Anyway, I am working a lot these days (hours in front of the computer...) and compared to last year have less free mornings to go to farmers market and farms so, although slightly more expensive, I end up getting most of our greens in the afternoon at the smaller stalls or at the i&s farm shop (the one with organic veggies from Sant' Erasmo) in Cannaregio. Because it is the season, last week I got half a pumpkin and made a really exquisite pie. I will immediately confess that for the first time in my life, I did not make the shortcrust myself but bought a ready roll... Sorry! I now it's a little bit like cheating, but I suppose it's okay every now and then, right?

With the shortcrust ready, the pie turned out to be super easy to make and really special, the type of dessert I would be proud of at a dinner party. To balance the sweetness of the pumpkin, I melted some dark chocolate and used it for the base layer. Then, I covered it with the pumpkin cream, made simply boiling small cubes of pumpkin for 8 minutes and blending them with a little bit of milk and a pinch of sugar. I called the dessert 'the perfectly imperfect pie' because where you see the rose decoration, well... the chocolate had made a little crack... But trust me, despite that small aesthetic imperfection, the flavour was amazing and it disappeared quite quickly.

Hopefully in the next ten days I will have a full morning to dedicate to my website and make some small changes and additions, meanwhile I wish you a great week and hope you will enjoy the recipe. Let me know!

RECIPE

PUMPKIN AND DARK CHOCOLATE PIE

Easy; Autumn/Winter

Baking pan diameter 22 cm

Ingredients:

1 ready rolled shortcrust pastry

100 gr dark chocolate

a known of butter

150 gr sliced pumpkin

1/2 cup milk

2 teaspoons brown sugar

almond flakes to top

Method:

1) Boil the sliced pumpkin for about 8 minutes, drain and let cool. When ready, blend with half cup of milk and a little bit of sugar and keep aside.

2) Meanwhile, steam cook the chocolate and when it's nice and melted, add a knob of butter and amalgamate well.

3). Pre-heat oven at 180°.

4) Grease a pan, roll out the pastry dough and add a layer of chocolate. Flatten with the back of a spoon and then add your pumpkin cream.

5) Bake at 180° for about 35 minutes.

6) Let cool and decorate with almond flakes.

#sweetrecipes

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