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Dessert, Italian Style

Updated: Oct 28, 2019

By Ippolita Douglas Scotti:

I confess, I have a sweet tooth. Essere goloso di dolci ("To have a sweet tooth") is not such a bad thing in Florence, Italy, considering we have an abundance of pasticcerie and gelaterias. There are too many to choose from or even list here, but since I'm a native of Firenze and have lived here all my life, I've had plenty of time to sample them all! Here are just a few places to discover some of Firenze's sweetest treasures:


Since I like cooking almost as much as I like eating, I spend a lot of time in my home kitchen preparing sweets for me and my sweet boyfriend, Jacopo. Here are a few easy recipes to satisfy any sweet tooth. Buon Appetito!


Crema Pasticciera

This is a homey dessert. I love it hot so that the scent of lemon rind reaches all your senses. The cream is also a good filling for pastries and cakes.

3 cups milk 4 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon grated lemon rind

2 tablespoons flour 2 egg yolks Ladyfingers

Chocolate chips Cocoa powder

Boil the milk, sugar, and lemon rind. Gradually add the flour and beaten egg yolks. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

Serve hot or cold in little bowls garnishing with ladyfingers, chocolate chips, or a dust of cocoa powder.

Serves 4


Pears in Port Wine

How I love sweet wines! You can use them to cook meat, to marinate cheese, and to prepare this incredibly easy dessert.

2 cups water 1 cup sugar

3 cloves 4 ripe pears Dash of cinnamon 1 glass ruby port wine 8 mint leaves

Make a syrup by simmering water, sugar, cloves, and cinnamon.

Cut pears into wedges and place in the syrup. Add port and cook gently for 15 minutes.

Garnish with mint leaves and serve hot.

Serves 4


Contessa Ippolita Douglas Scotti di Vigileno is a true Italian—born in Florence, Italy, from a long line of eccentric Italian aristocrats, she has traveled the world in search of adventure, romance, and magical, mouth-watering recipes. "Ippo" loves Italian history, especially as it relates to food. Author of There's a Beatle in My Soup, Curcuma e Zenzero (Ginger & Tumeric), 101 Perche Sulla Storia di Firenze (101 questions on Florence History), and Superfoods, Ippo is currently finishing her latest work, The Lords of Florence (all published by Newton Compton Publishers).

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