Cookbook Review: Dalmatia

Dalmatia is a celebration of the food of Croatia’s Mediterranean Coast, a region with a long, rich history, but one that is only slowly coming to prominence as tourists continue to discover its rugged beauty, blue waters and rustic, simple cuisine.

In his first book, Dalmatia, Ino Kuvacic brings us over 100 authentic Croatian dishes. With chapters covering vegetables and salads, meat dishes, fish and seafood and sweets, the book reveals authentic recipes and cherished food traditions of this little-known part of Europe.

At its heart, Dalmatian cuisine is frugal, honest and rustic. Similar to Greek and Italian food, fish, seafood, tomatoes and olives reign and the foundation of most dishes is good quality produce grown in pure, clean earth and treated simply.

Accompanied with stunning local photography of both this beautiful region and the culinary experiences it offers, Dalmatia will transport you to the shores of Croatia from your home kitchen.

Dalmatia, Recipes from Croatia’s Mediterranean Coastis available at Amazon.com and Amazon.ca.


Croatian Apple Cake

SERVES 6

 

375 g (13 oz/2 ½ cups) plain (all-purpose) flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

165 g (5 ½ oz) butter

165 g (5 ½ oz) caster (superfine) sugar

1 egg

zest of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons dark rum

½ teaspoon salt

1 egg, whisked (egg wash)

2 tablespoons caster (superfine) sugar, to sprinkle

 

APPLE FILLING

750 g (1 lb 11 oz) granny smith (or similar) apples, grated

225 g (8 oz) caster (superfine) sugar

juice of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons dark rum

½ tablespoon ground cinnamon

 

To make the apple filling, sauté the apple and sugar in a saucepan over high heat for 5 minutes. Add the lemon juice, rum and ground cinnamon.

Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl.

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until pale. Add the egg and lemon zest and beat on high until the mixture is pale and fluffy in texture. Fold in the flour, baking powder, rum and salt. Work the mixture into a dough but do not work it for too long. Refrigerate the dough for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F).

Divide the dough in half, sprinkle with flour and roll out each half to fit a 15 × 20 cm (6 × 8 in) baking dish or tray. Line the dish with baking paper.

The dough should be 1–2 cm (½–¾ in) thick.

Put one layer of dough in the dish and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, spread the filling over the top and cover with the remaining dough. Brush with the egg wash and sprinkle with caster sugar. Prick the top of the dough with a fork and bake until golden brown. Serve hot or cold, cut into squares.

Recipe reprinted with permission from Hardie Grant Books.

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