by Ippolita Douglas Scotti:
I was born in Florence, as were my parents, but I have a very long last name that doesn’t sound Italian at all: Douglas Scotti di Vigoleno. The story is that we belong to a very powerful Scottish clan, the Clan Douglas, who fought with William Wallace for the independence of Scotland. We arrived in Italy as mercenary soldiers over a thousand years ago, and we settled in Florence.
A few years ago, I traveled to Scotland and got to spend a most memorable time wandering around the gorgeous country to find my ancient origins. I was charmed by the nature and the people of this magic land.
The name "Douglas" is still very respected there, so I was quite the novelty to a lovely older lady in a Glenfinnan tea house (Highlander fans will be well-familiar with this town, the birthplace of the fictional MacLeods!). We talked of history, legends, and fairy tales, and she offered me this delicious, homemade dessert—the Scottish Apple Tart.
I tasted the first bite of this delicious tart, and I was so proud of my Scottish origins!
The lady was generous enough to share her recipe with me.
Scottish Apple Tart
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons pine nuts
1 pack butter cookies
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Grated lemon rind
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons butter
2 tablespoons of blueberry jam
Preheat oven to 350°.
Place a bit of butter in the bottom of a casserole dish. Peel apples and cut into wedges and sprinkle with lemon juice and lemon rind. Add the pine nuts.
Cover the bottom of the casserole with this apple mixture. Pour the jam on top and set aside.
Mix all the other ingredients (cookies, sugar, cocoa, and butter) in a large bowl until well blended. Crumble the mixture on top of the apples.
Bake for 30 minutes.