Torta di mela (Italian apple tart)

The first apple pie was invented by Geoffrey Chaucer and dated back to 1381. The original recipe was English and included apples, figs, raisins, pears, pastry and didn’t include sugar. In America, people put cheese on their apple pie and, hence the saying: “A pie without cheese is like a hug without a squeeze”. 

Other variations of this pudding include Apple crumble, apple lattice, and apple cake. The main element that makes this apple tart Italian is how the pastry is made and how typically Italian desserts are made with olive oil instead of butter. Even if you don’t like the flavour of olive oil, it is unlikely you will taste it. You can serve this with whipped cream or ice cream; however, in Italy, it is eaten cold, dusted with icing sugar, and served with a coffee for breakfast or eaten later on after dinner as a dessert. This apple tart will stay fresh for about 2-5 days in the fridge. 


  • Baking soda (1 tsp)
  • Flour (1 & 3/4 cups )
  • Baking powder (2 tsp)
  • Medium room temperature eggs (2)
  • Sugar (2/3 cups)
  • Milk (1/2 cup)
  • Grated lemon zest (1 lemon)
  • 3 Apples (half chopped into small cubes and the other half into thin slices) 
  • Unsalted butter or extra virgin olive oil (2 tbsp softened)
  • Powdered sugar (1 tsp)


  1. Preheat oven to gas mark 4.
  2. Grease an 8-inch deep cake pan with butter and flour to avoid sticking.
  3. In a medium bowl, sift in the flour, baking powder and baking soda. In another bowl, whisk sugar and eggs until smooth and creamy. 
  4. Slowly add in the zested lemon and slowly the dry ingredients and the milk until well combined. 
  5. Pour into the greased cake pan. Sprinkle the little bits of apple in random places on top of the cake batter. Add the thinly sliced apple slices on top, following the round edges of the pan.
  6. Add the butter cubes randomly on top of the apple, sprinkle 1 tsp of sugar on top and place into the oven for 40 minutes.
  7. Once cooked, leave to cool for 20 minutes, then serve with powdered sugar on top.

Up next: Traditional Italian Tiramisu Recipe


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