Recipe of the Week: Torta di Mandorle di Frutta (Almond Torte with Fresh Peaches)
Use a variety of fresh fruits when making this delicious almond torte. My mother made it at her bakery on a large sheet tray and sold it by weight. The torte can be made ahead and frozen before being garnished with fresh fruit and brushed with peach glaze. Serves eight. (Chef tip: To peel the peaches, drop them into boiling water for a couple of minutes then remove them and place them in iced water.)
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole blanched almonds or almond flour
2 drops almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Melted butter for preparing the cake pan.
Fresh fruits: peaches peeled and tossed in lemon juice
1/2 cup peach jelly
1 tablespoons Amaretto liquor
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter the bottom of nine-inch cake pan. Line the bottom of the cake pan with parchment and then butter.
In a food processor, chop the almonds with the sugar until very fine. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
Cream the butter in an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the almond and vanilla extracts, and the lemon zest. Beat until thoroughly incorporated. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating continuously. Fold in the nuts or almond flour and flour mixture.
Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake on the center of your preheated oven for 35 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven to a cake rack and cool. Remove the cake from its pan and set it onto a cake rack, discard the paper and cool completely. Chill for 30 minutes.
Heat the jelly with liquor on top of a double boiler for 20 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve. Decorate with slices of fresh peaches. Brush the fruit with prepared glaze. Cool and serve.