Torta di Mele Posted by Serena on Dec 6, 2008 in Uncategorized
The other morning one of my neighbors turned up at my doorstep with a wooden box full of mele (apples) or rather meline (small apples). They were small, but full of flavor, so I decided to bake a torta di mele (apple cake). I learned this recipe many years ago from a book that my brother gave to me as a Christmas present (it was to his benefit of course because he would eat the cakes I made without having to do the work!), and since then this has been my favorite recipe.
1 chilo di mele (2 lb of apples)
150 grammi di zucchero fino (5 oz of caster sugar)
150 grammi di farina (5 oz of plain flour)
2 uova (2 eggs)
2 cucchiaini colmi di lievito in polvere (2 heaped teaspoonful of baking powder)
1 bicchierino di grappa (1 small glass, 50ml of grappa)
2 bicchierini di latte (2 small glasses, 100ml of milk)
Scorza grattugiata di un limone (grated rind of a lemon)
1 pizzico di sale (a pinch of salt)
1 noce di burro (a walnut size of butter)
Use the butter to grease a 9” (23 cm) baking tin, and dust it with flour. Peel, core and slice the apples. Sift the flour with the baking powder. Separate the eggs and beat the egg yokes with the caster sugar until creamy and fluffy. Add the lemon rind and flour a spoonful at a time alternating with some milk and grappa. Whisk the egg whites with the salt until firm, and gently incorporate them into the cake mixture. Add the apples keeping aside a handful of slices. Mix well. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin. Decorate the surface with the apple slices kept aside and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Bake in a moderately hot oven, 180°C (350°F), Gas Mark 4 for 45-60 minutes until golden and just firm. To check that the cake is properly cooked I insert a toothpick or a match in the center of the cake and if this comes out dry the cake is ready. Turn the oven off but leave the cake in for another 5 minutes before taking it out. Serve the cake warm or cold. I love it with some plain natural yogurt, but traditionally in Italy we don’t serve torte (cakes) with cream or custard. My recipe book suggests serving the torta di mele with a sweet wine such as Moscato d’Asti Spumante, or Vin Santo del Trentino or Malvasia di Lipari. If you can’t get hold of them choose your favorite sweet wine or liqueur.
N.B. you can substitute the grappa with rum or brandy.
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