Friday, April 8, 2011

Almond Apple Cake - Passover














Why will your Seder be different from all other Seders?  Because you will serve this cake instead of the traditional sponge cake.  Okay, you will probably serve a sponge cake as well (and fruit salad for the dieters because everyone shouldn't go home hungry), but before you set your Seder menu in stone, take a lookie at this lovely matzoh-meal-free alternative.

Yup, that's right!  Although this is not a passover cake, with just a tiny modification which had nothing to do with flour, it very easily became one.  And when I tell you that this cake does NOT taste like Passover, you should believe me because I haven't ever lied to you (yet).  Technically since it does not contain any flour, it's more of a torte.  But people usually think of a denser dessert or chocolate, so I wanted everyone to try it without prejudice.

If you don't want to buy Pesadik confectioner's sugar (the regular stuff contains corn starch, a big Passover no-no), then either omit it since it's only there for decoration, or process a couple tablespoons of the granulated variety in a food processor for a minute to mimic the real thing.
  
Almond Apple Cake
Adapted from: Food52
Serves 8


3 large eggs
2 granny smith apples
2 Tbl. fresh lemon juice (or whatever you can get out of 1/2 a lemon, the amount does not have to be exact), divided
3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
3/4 cup  butter (leave out for 20 minutes or so, so it's not rock-hard)
1 1/3 cup ground almonds
1 tsp. passover baking powder
1 tsp. almond extract (optional)
Passover confectioner's sugar for dusting (optional)














Preheat oven to 300F. Line an 8 inch round or square-ish cake pan with foil and spritz with cooking spray.














Separate the eggs (easier to separate when cold), then set aside to lose their chill (whites whip better at room temperature).
.













Peel apples.  I tried to set a record for the longest peel, but the apple had other plans. 


















Notice that some peel remained firmly attached.  Did affect the final result so you can be just as lazy.  Quarter the apples, then remove the center cores:















Slice through one side half-way, then turn the apple around and slice through until the core lifts and separates.














Cut 2 of the quarters into thin slices.














Toss thin slices into a small bowl with a couple teaspoons of the lemon juice and set aside.














Slice the remaining apple quarters crossways into cubes. Toss them into another bowl along with remaining lemon juice. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of sugar and set aside for 10 minutes.














In large mixing bowl, cream butter and remaining sugar at high speed until light and fluffy (a minute or two).














Beat in the egg yolks.














Use a spatula to fold in ground almonds and baking powder, working the mixture as little as possible.  Set aside.














In another bowl, beat the egg whites at high speed, using a whip attachment if your mixer has one until stiff (shut off mixer, then raise whip.  Egg whites should have a stiff peak.














Fold whites into the batter, about a third at a time.  No need to be perfect.  There's still a few more ingredients that need to be added.














Fold in the extract, and any juice given out by the  apple chunks.














Then gently fold the chunks into the mixture.














Transfer to the prepared cake pan and smooth the surface.















Drain the apple slices and arrange on top of the cake ...














... fanning out the apple slices in a circle.














Bake in the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until golden and a skewer comes out clean.  As usual, I pulled out the cake before it was nicely browned.  Although the skewer was clean, the top could have used a few more minutes.














Run a knife around the edge of the cake and leave it to cool for several hours before serving.














Serve warm or cold with optional confectioner's sugar.   Mine came out a little mushy (see above about not baking long enough), but it was still quite delicious. 














I don't see anything wrong with it.

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