Robbie’s Recipes

Monday, January 16th, 2012

When my Granddaughter Courtney was about 3 years old she would greet everyone she met with “Are You a Bracco?” and here’s why!

Moments Share

Moments Shared


Black Mussels MaranaraBlack Mussels Maranara

Apple Cake

Italian Pastry – Pasticciotto


(Makes about 20)

For the Pasta Frolla

3 3/4 cups (500 g) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons (3 grams) baking powder
1 cup plus 2 tablespoon (250 g) lard (you can substitute the same amout of butter, at room temperature)
1 1/4 cups (250 g) granulated sugar
5 egg yolks

For the Pastry Cream:

3 ¼ cup (750 ml) whole milk
Rind of 1 lemon
8 egg yolks
2/3 cup (160 g) sugar
Scant ½ cup (50 g) cornstarch
3 ½ tablespoons (25 g) all-purpose flour

1 egg, beaten (for the egg wash)

10 fluted molds for pasticciotto, each buttered and floured

To make the pasta frolla (short crust pastry dough):  In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, mix together on low speed the flour, baking powder, lard (or butter) and sugar until the mixture is the consistency of peas.  Add the egg yolks and stir together just until the mixture is combined.  Divide in half and create two round disks of pasta frolla. Wrap each disk with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 2 hours before rolling out.

To make the pastry cream:  Place the milk and the lemon rind in a nonreactive heavy bottom sauce pot and leave for 20 minutes. Then bring the milk to a scald.  Let the lemon rind steep in the milk for 10 minutes.  In the meantime, in another bowl, whisk together the sugar and egg yolks until the mixture becomes pale.  (The whisk must be nonreactive also.) Add the cornstarch and flour and whisk to combine.

Strain the lemon rind out of the milk, and slowly pour the warmed milk into the egg yolk mixture.  Whisking together as you pour.  Once all the milk and egg yolk mixtures are combined, place back into the saucepot and over medium heat.  Bring to a boil, whisking vigorously the entire time.  Once the mixture has become dense and just started to boil, remove from the heat and whip it until smooth and let cool for 10 minutes.  Spread the pastry cream into a 9×13-inch glass dish and cover with plastic wrap.  The plastic wrap should be touching the pastry cream to keep the cream from developing a film.  Refrigerate until cold.

To assemble the pasticciotto: On a lightly floured surface, roll out one of the disks of pasta frolla into a square until the dough is about 3/8-inch thick.  Line your pasticciotto baking molds so that when you place the sheet of pastry dough over them, it will cover all molds. Run the rolling pin over the dough to “cut” the dough into the necessary oval form. With your fingertips, press the dough into the mold, so that the dough sits against the bottom of the mold and completely up the sides.

Spoon the pastry cream into the molds.  The pastry cream should reach the top of the mold. Roll out the second disk of pasta frolla in the same way you rolled out the first, but to 1/4-inch in thickness. Lay the pastry dough over the tops of the filled molds. This time using your fingers instead of the rolling pin, press around the top edge of each mold to make a cut in the dough. Along the edges of the mold, press down with your fingers to seal the pastry and to create a little “mound” in the center of each pasticciotto.  Brush the tops of each with egg wash and bake at 375 F for 15 minutes. The tops should be golden brown.

Cool and serve. Enjoy!

Wedding Day in Life On The Stoop


Home Made Pizza Brooklyn Style!  It ain’t Joe’s but it’s pretty darn good!

Life On The Stoop


Prep Time:
25 Min
Cook Time:
6 Minutes (About)

Original Recipe Yield 2 pizzas


    1 teaspoon active dry yeast
    1/4 cup warm water
    1 cup cold water
    1 teaspoon salt
    3 cups bread flour

    6 ounces low moisture mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
    1/2 cup no salt added canned crushed tomatoes
    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
    3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    6 leaves fresh basil, torn


    Sprinkle yeast over warm water in a large bowl. Let stand for 5 minutes
to proof. Stir in salt and cold water, then stir in the flour about 1 cup
at a time. When the dough is together enough to remove from the bowl, knead
on a floured surface until smooth, about 10 minutes. Divide into two pieces,
 and form each one into a tight ball. Coat the dough balls with olive oil,
and refrigerate in a sealed container for at least 16 hours. Be sure to use
a big enough container to allow the dough to rise. Remove the dough from the
refrigerator one hour prior to using.
    Preheat the oven, with a pizza stone on the lowest rack, to 550 degrees
F. Lightly dust a pizza peel with flour.
    Using one ball of dough at a time, lightly dust the dough with flour,
and stretch gradually until it is about 14 inches in diameter, or about as
big around as the pizza stone. Place on the floured peel. Place thin slices
of mozzarella over the crust, then grind a liberal amount of black pepper
over it. Sprinkle with dried oregano. Randomly arrange crushed tomatoes,
leaving some empty areas. Drizzle olive oil over the top.
    With a quick back and forth jerk, make sure the dough will release from
the peel easily. Place the tip of the peel at the back of the preheated
pizza stone, and remove peel so that the pizza is left on the stone.
    Bake for 4 to 6 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the crust begins
 to brown. Remove from the oven by sliding the peel beneath the pizza.
Sprinkle a few basil leaves randomly over the pizza. Cut into wedges and


  • 6 – 8 blood oranges (or substitute regular oranges)
  • 7c sugar
  • 12c water
  • 6 Tbs light corn syrup
  1. With a fine needle pierce around your oranges several times. Making sure to insert the need right through the skin or the oranges.
  2. This allows the candying syrup to penetrate the oranges. Do not use a skewer!
  3. Place oranges in a large pot (which has a lid) and cover with water. Bring water to a simmer and cook for an hour.
  4. This will remove some of the bitterness from the pith of the oranges.
  5. Drain oranges in a colander and set aside.
  6. In the same pot add your sugar, water and corn syrup.
  7. Heat until sugar has dissolved and then
  8. increase heat until the syrup boils. Reduce heat and place your oranges back in the pot. Place lid on your pot,
  9. but do not fit it tightly, leave it slightly off centre, as you want some of the steam to escape.
  10. Gently simmer for an hour, make sure it is a very gentle simmer.
  11. Remove pot from the heat and place lid firmly on top of your pot.
  12. The same time next day, place pot back on stove. Place lid slightly off centre again and bring oranges and syrup to a gentle simmer again.
  13. This time simmer for 30 minutes.
  14. Once you have done this, remove pot from the heat again, replace lid and leave until the same time the next day.
  15. You repeat this process for eight (8) days. You may need to add a little water if your syrup is reducing too much.
  16. Once you have simmered for your final day. Cool oranges completely and store in a container in your fridge.
  17. They will keep for up to six (6) months.
  18. Don’t discard the syrup either as this takes on a deep orange flavour. This then can be used for cordial or many other purposes.




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