With a creamy filling of butter, sugar, eggs and three lemon juice freshly squeezed, the Anke Pie was the dessert favorite author russo Lev Tolstoy . His wife Sofya gave the name of Dr. Nikolai Anke, a friend of his mother from whom he inherited the recipe. "From what I can remember, any special occasion, every great feast and every feast day was celebrated with Anke Pie. Without that cake, a meal would not be a meal, a feast would not be a banquet, "wrote Ilya, the son of Tolstoy, in his memoirs.
In later life, the love of luxury created the grandfather of literary realism many problems. In a number of 1891 of the magazine The Atlantic, Isabel P. Hapgood American writer recalled a visit to Yasnaya Polyana, Tolstoy's estate south of Moscow, during which sixty-three Count pointed to the long dining table that servants had placed under the birches and he said to his guest: "you can imagine the sinful luxury in which I live", thus expressing what Hapgood understood as a "special taste for forks and silver spoons."
Although he continued to be served up to eighty years both by servants from both the frustrated wife, who was up to type all his manuscripts, Tolstoy had come to hate the deep inequalities that characterized the Russian social structure. When in 1873 there was a famine , he paused for a year the writing of Anna Karenina, to organize the aid to be given to those who were starving . On that occasion he said to a relative: "I can not stay away from living creatures to deal with imaginary ones."
Tolstoy developed this interest in social justice later in life, in fact the first was described as being "gruff, riotous and violent." Born in 1828 into a noble family with hundreds of servants, Tolstoy had reason to be angry. His mother died when he was two and his father when she was nine, after losing the game much of the family fortune. "I killed men in war and I challenged them to a duel to kill others," he wrote. "I lost the game, I took advantage of the work of farmers and I punished them, I led a dissolute life, and I fooled a lot of people ...".
Both youthful excesses Tolstoy is his hope in a simple and honest life are expressed in Anna Karenina through two characters; Anna's lover, Count Vronsky, embodies the values of the young Tolstoy: a man who "gave you of all those with whom he drank champagne, and drank champagne with everyone." The character of Konstantin Lëvin, however, is more comfortable to work with the peasants on his estate, to achieve the "moments of ecstasy" simply mowing the grass and cool off with a "drink with the grass that we wallowed inside" .
The deep Tolstoy's connection to nature appeared already when he was little. In his diaries he wrote idyllic afternoons spent fishing tench, bream, carp, perch and sterlet into a deep lake near his grandmother's house. He liked to sit with the cow-place and share with the children of black bread rye farmers and cow's milk straight from the cow. On another occasion she remembers when she went to collect hazelnuts: "I remember how you broke the nuts on the sides when the girls who were with us addentavano, and how we will relentlessly masticassimo their hearts very white and fresh."
A would not hear of marriage 30 years Tolstoy, but changed his mind reached 34 when she married the eighteen year old Sofya, the daughter of the doctor, with whom he had 13 children. She was to transcribe all the literary works of her husband, and it was no mean feat, given that it stated that the writer had published only a small part of its production and that the mammoth War and Peace , originally, was "seven times long".
Arriving in Yasnaya Polyana, the teen was shocked Sofya stripped from furniture and rustic, but allied immediately with the cook, Nikolai Mikhailovich, former orchestra flutist of the old Prince Volkonsky. "And why did you become chef" he recalls asking him in his diary. "I lost the mouthpiece of the flute, His Eminence," he said, with a smirk. Sofya took command of the stove at regular intervals, when Nikolai was too drunk to do it.
The same Tolstoy renounced alcohol and hugged the pacifism and vegetarianism "I'm not suffering and death of animals to be horrible," he wrote. "It is the fact that man, without that there is no need, thus destroying his great sense of empathy and compassion for living creatures. And the fact that it can be cruel, it is a violence that does to himself. "
Following his visit Isabel P. Hapgood could confirm that: "The count did not eat even a bite of meat, despite various pressures. Beans boiled buckwheat, salted cucumbers, black bread, eggs with spinach, tea and coffee, kvass (bread black beer) and cabbage soup were the basis of his power. His daughters and followed him on the road of vegetarianism , while Sofya and children resisted . Even Sofya, Tolstoy when he was ill, put the beef broth in her husband's mushroom soup without him noticing.
The most famous quote by Tolstoy said that all happy families are similar to one another, while each unhappy family it is in his own way . Many were the characteristics of disagreements between him and his wife at the end of the writer's life; The two, in fact, not only fighting for the menu. Sofya could not understand how her husband, who had described his female characters with so much precision and compassion, could treat it so insensitive; why he thought it was sumasšedšij , namely that "he was going out of his mind", and fought strenuously against the disciples "crazy" that the Count liked to surround himself in recent years. But talk proved useless when he sold the rights of his works.
Tolstoy is buried in an unmarked grave on the green hill of Yasnaya Polyana , where he played as a child. Today, tourists who visit the estate can also take a culinary tour of the dilapidated house, which always ends with a slice of Anke Pie .