With anniversaries come parties, and with parties, pastries. While the ubiquitous amaretti make an appearance, a 50th wedding anniversary is the time for the less common (and the more time consuming treats) to front up for the occasion.
Cannoli, torrone and le pesche (peaches) are the coveted items on the sweet table, with peaches being a personal favourite. Not necessarily for the eating part, they are divine, don't get me wrong.. it is the making that is a process to behold.
The external shell of the pastry is a rich brioche-style bun that has to be hollowed out, dipped in a liqueured syrup and a little fine sugar before filling with a rich pastry custard. The halves of the peach are then matched up and the custard holds them together. After filling, a decorative piped peach blossom is added atop the finished pastry.
Getting together to make these, stir the torrone (for what seems like eternity), and fill the cannoli, is part of every major celebration. I am always amazed at what can get done in a day as our assembly line makes fairly quick work of it. Like doing the tomatoes, cleaning rapini, drying peppers and picking through the dried beans, I am always sorry it's over as much I am relieved to hang up the apron when the work is done. Unlike these other events, a 50th comes but once and I hope the others continue for many years to come.