Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Delicious La Torta di Mele - Italian Apple Cake

It's sometimes a bit of a challenge to come up with a 'not-so-heavy' winter pudding when the only seasonal fruits around are apples and pears. With our freezer stash of PYO raspberries exhausted, and the supermarket ones all imported from china, I resolved to 'keep it seasonal' and persevere with what has come to seem like one-hundred-and-one-ways-with-apples. Our dinner guests are also quite healthy eaters, so wedges of heavy chocolate cheesecake did not appeal. It was about then that I remembered this lovely recipe for Italian Apple Cake. I first tried this recipe when one of my great Plunket group friends made it for us. She got the recipe from a cooking class in Tuscany. (Pause to nostalgically remember pre-children lifestyle)

This is a great, quick and light cake that can be made a little in advance and popped in the oven when the guests arrive. It needs at least 20 minutes of resting time after cooking before it can be easily sliced, and is best served warm. If you don't have pinenuts then walnuts or almonds will be fine. This cake easily serves 8 people. 

La Torta di Mele - Apple Cake

100g butter
300g caster sugar
1 grated lemon rind
1/2 cup milk
3 eggs
120g plain flour
16g baking powder
5 apples
50g pinenuts
100g raisin

Preheat the oven to 175deg. C and line a large round 30cm baking tin with baking paper.                                                                                                                     Peel, core and slice the apples. Toss with lemon juice to prevent from browning. 

With a mixer, blend the soft butter, sugar and lemon rind. It will remain quite grainy because of the difference in quantities of butter and sugar. 

After 5 minutes of beating, add the warmed milk, eggs, and sifted flour and baking powder and mix well. 

Fold in the prepared apples, pinenuts and raisins. 

Pour the cake batter into the pan and shake to level out. 

Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes until golden and risen. 
Leave the cake to settle for at least 20 minutes before sliding out of the tin, slicing and serving with cream and ice cream. Delicious!

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