I spent just under two glorious weeks in Tuscany, basing myself in Florence to explore the region.
Florence was the birthplace of the Renaissance, which is not surprising, as there were gorgeous art and architecture everywhere I looked.
Tuscany is even more beautiful in person; pictures don't do it justice. One day was spent biking in the countryside. Pro tip: unless you are a road cyclist, rent a vespa or car to get around. I'm in pretty decent shape but biking was painfully difficult, as the countryside was mainly made up of hills.
I've had my eye on this classic plum torte recipe, which has been around for years. It was first published in The New York Times in 1983 and is one of the most requested recipe of all time. It's not hard to see why, as it is simple and versatile. Coincidentally, the NYT ran an article on the recipe just before I was going to make it.
I had my doubts when I first made the batter, as it seemed too thick and insufficient, but it rises beautiful around the plums. The plums become juicy and jammy, both sweet and tart at once.
It's been a quintessential summer so far where we've been blessed with hot, humid weather. Unfortunately those days are soon coming to an end, as the sun is setting earlier and the cool evenings require a sweater.
However, summer isn't quite over yet. We've officially hit peak tomato season and all I want to do is consume tomatoes.
I've had them raw in salads, bursting with tomato flavour; cooked into ratatouille, where all the summer vegetables shine through; stuffed with rice and baked, concentrating that tomato-ness.