As every year, for my birthday I baked to treat my colleagues. This year I made a pound cake, almond cookies stuffed with amarena cherries, and an Italian apple cake. Other than Dutch appeltaart (the same as American apple pie), Italian torta di mele is made with a batter similar to pound cake rather than shortcrust pastry. The difference is mostly in using more eggs, but the effect is a totally different, ligther, cake. There are countless versions of torta di mele, as each mamma or nonna has her own version. This version is based upon what Marina of lericettedibaccos refers to as ‘the best’ version. It was excellent indeed. Here’s what I did…
4 apples (I used tart apples, goudreinetten)
250 grams (1 2/3 cups) pastry flour
150 grams (3/4 cup) cane sugar + 2 tablespoons
125 grams (9 Tbsp) butter
1 Tbsp baking powder (Italians use lievito per dolci, baking powder enriched with vanillin; if you use ordinary baking powder you could add 1 tsp of vanilla extract)
pinch of salt
1 untreated lemon
40 grams (4 Tbsp) raisins
20 grams (2 Tbsp) pine nuts
10 grams (1 1/2 Tbsp) slivered almonds
butter and flour for preparing the pan
Zest the lemon.
Peel and core the apples. Cut approximately two of the apples into slices (about 16 slices per apple) so you’ll have enough apple slices to cover the top of the cake. Cut the remaining apples into chunks.
Because of the addition of lemon zest and lemon juice this cake is quite fresh in taste, so it works best with a Moscato d’Asti.
The criteria for great deep fried chicken are easy: the crust should be crispy and light, the chicken should be tender and succulent. This post explains a few simple tricks it is possible to achieve this every time.