Sometimes I’m insecure, overwhelmed, a little shaky, don’t know how to approach the next step, is there a next step, and can I handle it…This beautiful sun flooding my kitchen is inspiring, but will it fulfill the promises of the day? I always believe. Yes, perhaps it’s a flaw, but I tend to accept at face value what I’m offered. I trust, I open my heart, I welcome. The plunge into the deep abyss is usually next. Yeah, I trusted…The warmth, the promise of the sun seduces my soul, makes my skin tingly, inundates me with energy, and, once again, I choose to believe. Shed the nagging of panic, the soul-draining anxiety, move forward, tearing through the curtain of self-doubt. Golden, smooth-skinned (some blushing rose), the perfect apples in the bowl exude comfort, proffer an anchor, solid and real. So I don’t fall again. And I saw her, my mother, mixing dough on the large wooden tagliere, working quickly, a little impatiently, her mind already on the next task, her sharp eye on the stove, where veal spezzatino was browning gently. Torta di mele for tomorrow, Sunday. Her little Saturday ritual, making dessert for the next day, or, more often, for the most fabulous Sunday breakfast. My mother’s Apple Cake has no equal. Okay, it might be the usual warp of memory – how all that is past and long gone lives forever in its bubble of perfection – but, no, really, this thing is superb. First of all it’s not really a cake, even though torta means cake in Italian, but rather a large tart, made with fragrant lemon-flavored pasta frolla, sweet dough. The filling is delectable, luscious, with a creamy custard encasing tender apple slices, all sparkly with sugar sprinkled on top right before baking. Simple yet elegant, rich and rustic, this Torta di mele is unique, delicious, and, yes, probably the best apple dessert ever. Allora, watch my video baking class! Viva le mele!