The Silver Spoon, that bible of Italian home cooking, first published in 1950, has been re-released, offering chef menus and traditional recipes from every region, including this luscious crostata di more, blackberry tart.

Serves 6

Preparation: 21/4 hr Cooking: 45–50 min


unsalted butter, for greasing

11 ounces Pie Crust Dough

all-purpose flour, for dusting

1 quantity Confectioners’ Custard (see below)

21/4 pounds blackberries

3/4 cup raspberry preserves

Confectioner’s Custard

4 egg yolks

1/2 cup caster sugar

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 1/4 cups milk

A few drops of vailla extract or 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind


For the confectioner’s custard:

Beat the egg yolks with the sugar in a pan until pale and fluffy.

Gradually stir in the flour until evenly mixed. Bring the milk just to boiling point in another pan and add the vanilla or lemon rind, then remove from the heat.

Gradually add the hot milk to the egg yolk mixture then cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 3 to 4 minutes until thickened.

Pour the custard into a bowl and let cool, stirring aoccasionally to prevent a skin from forming.

For the tart:

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 11-inch tart pan with butter.

Roll out the dough into a circle on a lightly floured counter, place in the prepared pan, and prick the bottom with a fork.

Make sure the confectioners’ custard has cooled well, then pour it into the tart shell and bake for 35–40 minutes.

Meanwhile, set aside about 3–4 cups of the blackberries to use for decoration and
place the remainder in a food processor. Process them to a puree, scrape the blackberry puree into a bowl, and stir in the raspberry preserves, diluting the mixture with a little water, if necessary (the mixture should be thick).

Remove the tart from the oven and let cool. Spread the puree evenly over the tart, then cover it with the reserved blackberries.

The Silver Spoon, published by Phaidon Press. RRP $59.95

Flaky tarts? Tiramisu? Or gelato? What is your favourite Italian dessert?