Leftover bread? Any kind of bread will do. You can even mix types of bread.
Now, before giving you the recipe let me explain one of Cucina Povera’s tricky things. Since this cooking style bases itself on what is available in the kitchen, sometimes you have recipes without measurements – like this one.
In this case, for example, you have to use your cooking judgment based mainly on the amount of bread available and play along with it. In my opinion that’s the fun side of Cucina Povera. You become an alchemist, adding (or removing) ingredients until you strike gold. 🙂
Cut the bread into thin slices, dip in melted butter and milk. Cut the apples in rough pieces, place in a saucepan with a tablespoon of sugar, cooking until they soften. Butter a baking dish and cover it with slices of bread, spread a layer of apples and continue alternating layers until you finish with a layer of bread. Sprinkle every layer with a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg. Bake in hot oven until golden. Before serving, you can sprinkle with Marsala, Port or an orange liqueur.
Possible alternatives – add raisins hydrated in warm water or rum, or chocolate drops. Apples can be replaced by bananas, pears, figs, any fruit of the season.
A rustic dessert, but delicious.
*Cucina povera – when you prepare each one of your dishes so that there is the least possible waste and ALWAYS use several smart ways to reuse the leftovers. Nothing goes to the trash bin before careful consideration. 🙂
In short – It is a way to cook where very few ingredients are purchased and NOTHING is wasted. Cooking with what you have to transform humble ingredients into dishes that are not only good but absolutely exquisite.