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Recipe: Berkeley Apricot Almond Harvest Torte
Apricots and almonds show up at farmers’ markets during the late summer and early fall, and luckily, make a wonderful pairing. Not only do they taste great, but both foods are packed with nutrients. Apricots and almonds are both high in fiber. Apricots also have high levels of beta-carotene and lycopene, making them heart-healthy, and good for your eyes! And almonds are rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, plus the super antioxidant, Vitamin E.
This simple torte is a great finish to any fall meal. It also makes a wonderful afternoon tea cake. It's rustic yet tender, and not too sweet. Serve with a dollop of Good Karma Rice Divine in very vanilla, or Soyatoo Whipped Soy Topping, for a decadent cap to a meal.
- 1 1/3 cup organic sugar (try Wholesome Sweeteners)
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/3 cup finely ground almonds (aka, "almond meal") (I like to make my own by grinding slivered almonds in the food processor, but you can buy it pre-ground too)
- 2/3 cup unbleached white spelt flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/8th tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup non-hydrogenated margarine (try Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread)
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. almond extract (try Frontier)
- 4 apricots, divided into 6 slices each
- 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
- Organic powdered sugar (try Wholesome Sweeteners)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch round spring-form pan and dust with a little spelt flour, tapping out the extra. Combine 1/3 cup sugar with cinnamon and set aside for later. Combine ground almonds, spelt flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Prepare your apricots at this time if you haven't already done so. Set aside.
Cream margarine and 1 cup sugar with an electric mixer, set on medium. Add eggs, one at a time. Add almond extract, and beat. Add dry mixture to wet mixture, and mix until batter is smooth. Pour into spring-form pan and smooth surface with a spatula. Arrange apricot slices, skin side down, in two circles shaped like the sun. Start with the outer circle, leaving a half-inch boarder between apricots and the edge of the pan. Once you've completed both circles, drizzle top with lemon juice. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture all over top of torte. Bake 55 minutes. The apricots will disappear into the cake, creating a delicious caramelized bottom, and a lovely golden crust on top.
Remove torte from oven and let cool in pan on a rack for 15 minutes. Gently run a butter knife around the outer edge of torte to loosen. Remove outer rim of pan. Let cool another 30 minutes. Use a butter knife or slender spatula to gently separate bottom of pan from cake. You can either serve this cake right-side-up, dusted with powdered sugar, or flip it for an apricot upside-down cake! Serve slightly warm or room temperature.
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