“Shredded apples add moistness and natural sweetness to this perfect Passover cake, whose plain good looks also make it an ideal accompaniment to a midday cup of tea,” according to the writers who assembled “Gourmet Today” (Conde Nast Publications, $40). “Ground cardamom contributes a whiff of spice and warmth.”
Cardamom Apple Almond Cake
1 cup (about 4 ounces) slivered almonds, toasted
1/2 cup matzo meal (not matzo cake meal)
Scant 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
5 large eggs, separated, left at room temperature for 30 minutes
1 cup sugar, divided use
2 Granny Smith apples, pealed and coarsely grated
Passover Powered Sugar (recipe follows)
Place a rack in the middle of an oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Oil 9-inch springform pan and dust with matzo meal, knocking out excess.
Pulse almonds with matzo meal, 1/4 teaspoon salt and cardamom in a food processor until finely ground. (Be careful not to pulse to a paste.)
Beat yolks in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium high speed until smooth. Beat in 3/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, then beat until mixture is very thick and pale, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in nut mixture, then apples.
Beat whites and 1/4 cup sugar a little at a time, and continue to beat until whites just hold stiff peaks. Stir one quarter of whites into yolk mixture to lighten it, then fold in remaining whites gently but thoroughly.
Scrape batter into pan and rap pan once on work surface to eliminate any large air bubbles. Bake until cake is puffed and browned and top springs back when touched, 40 to 45 minutes. Transfer to a rack and cool completely in pan (cake will sink slightly in center).
Run a think knife around side of pan, then remove side of pan.
Sift some of powdered sugar over cake before serving and reserve remainder for another use.
Cook’s note: This cake can be made up to 1 day ahead and kept, covered with foil, at room temperature.
Makes 8 servings.
Passover Powdered Sugar
Powdered sugar contains cornstarch, which is forbidden during Passover. We whir granulated sugar in a spice grinder and mix it with potato starch for a similar result.
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon potato starch
Grind sugar with potato starch until powdery.
Makes about 1/2 cup.