Grandma Giuliana’s apples covered with custard and meringue
Delicious, simple ingredients, easy to make, but needs time. “Mele coperte” covered apples with custard and meringue, my grandma’s dessert
by Donatella Cinelli Colombini
Mele coperte is the dessert that my grandma Giuliana Tamanti Colombini used to prepare for family or for friends who more frequently came to our house. I feel that it is an invention of hers with mixed cultural ascendancies. She was born into a Roman family of famous architects, the Busiri Vici’s and of officials of the Pope, the Barluzzi’s. One of these families had lived at the Quirinale palace until the capture of Rome when the new lodger became King Savoia.
In marrying my grandfather Giovanni Colombini, Giuliana went to live in Modena where her father in law was rector of the University. This is where my mother Francesca was born and where the family lived until they returned to Montalcino, where the Colombini’s actually originated form.
Each of these places left a trace on our table. In our house there was a real cult for eating Tortellini and the Zampone, as it was usual to eat Gnocchi alla Romana and Saltimbocca. I would not be surprised if in the dessert that I am telling you about today there is a real mixture of food cultures and I like to think that it is exclusive to my home.