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You Asked For It: An Italian dessert recipe for Zuppa Inglese

About 45 years ago I worked in an office where everyone brought a dish on Fridays. My all-time favorite was a zuppa inglese, and I hope someone has a recipe to share.

Jena Parker, New Port Richey

Mae Bissonette of Seminole shares a recipe for zuppa inglese or Italian rum cake. Mae's recipe calls for a sponge cake, and she wrote that she had purchased it at the Publix bakery. Well, I went to two Publix stores and both told me they no longer make the sponge cakes. I substituted an angel food cake, because the recipe calls for a premade cake. When making the custard, it is important to stir it constantly so it does not begin to solidify. The mild hint of lemon is very refreshing. Overall, this is an easy dessert to make. Just be patient making the custard.

Recipe requests

Linda Wolf of Treasure Island would like the deviled eggs recipe from the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Largo resident Jean Arnold would like the A&P pumpkin pie recipe.

Recipes tested by Times correspondent Ellen Folkman unless otherwise noted. Send requests to You Asked For It, St. Petersburg Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731, or e-mail Include your name, city and phone number.


Zuppa Inglese

3 egg yolks

2 cups milk

¼ cup sugar

¼ cup flour

Dash salt

1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

1 (6-inch) sponge cake

6 tablespoons sweet vermouth, divided use

6 tablespoons dark rum

4 tablespoons orange marmalade, divided use

¼ cup chopped, toasted almonds

Beat egg yolks well and blend with milk, sugar, flour and salt in top of double boiler. Stir in lemon peel. Cook over hot, not boiling, water, stirring constantly until custard is thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.

Split sponge cake into three layers. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of vermouth over bottom and middle layers. Spread each of the two layers with 2 tablespoons marmalade. Stack layers and top with third layer. Sprinkle top and sides of cake with rum and remaining vermouth. Spread cooled custard over top and sides of cake. Sprinkle with almonds.

Source: Mae Bissonette, Seminole

You Asked For It: An Italian dessert recipe for Zuppa Inglese 07/13/10 [Last modified: Monday, July 12, 2010 5:38pm]
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