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Sweet Italy

Cake of Fruits:

1 quart milk

Dash of vanilla extract

Pinch of ground cinnamon

2 cups homemade breadcrumbs

2/3 pound pears

2/3 pound apples

¼ pound unsalted butter

1 ½ cups sugar

¼ pound golden raisins

2 glasses of Torcolato

3 whole eggs

Grated peel of 1 lemon

pinch of salt

confectioners sugar

Warm the milk in a pan over low heat. Add a dash of vanilla extract and a pinch of cinnamon. Put breadcrumbs in a bowl. Pour the heated milk over them. Set aside. Allow breadcrumbs to absorb the milk. Peel and slice the apples and pears and cook with the butter and sugar until the consistency of a puree. Plump the raisins in the Torcolato wine. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Butter a round, high-sided, 9-inch-diameter baking pan, and coat the bottom and sides with a thin layer of fine, dry breadcrumbs. In a large bowl beat the eggs with the fruit puree, grated lemon peel and a pinch of salt, stirring with a wooden spoon until well mixed. Add the bread and the raisins. Pour mixture into the baking pan. Bake in the middle of the preheated oven for 40 minutes or until set. Remove from the oven, and let cool. Flavors improve overnight. Serve the following day. Before serving garnish the cake with grapes and a veil of sifted confectioners sugar. Serves eight.

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