It’s no secret I’m a thrift store addict! I love the thrill of the hunt, finding new uses for old objects, and let’s be honest the deals to be had are pretty darn exciting to me too. One of my secret thrift items I’m almost afraid to tell you about is cook books (but that’s just greedy of me so I’m letting you in on this potential source of inspiration now). This recipe came from a book I got last week for a dollar. If you’re expecting this will be super sweet and marzipanish in taste, it’s not. It’s a simple, rustic torta that is filled with the perfume of almonds and cinnamon. Beware though, since it’s not overly sweet, it’s easy to eat it for breakfast!
Torta di Mandorle e Cannella
(From Rustico Regional Italian Cooking by Micol Negrin)
2-2/3 c. blanched almonds
3/4 c. plus 1/3 c. sugar (keep measured amounts separate)
1 3/4 c. all purpose flour
grated zest of one lemon
3 extra-large egg yolks
3 extra-large egg whites
2 extra-large eggs
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
unsalted butter for greasing the pan
To make the crust:
1) Preheat the oven to 400F. In a food processor, grind 1-1/3 c. of the almonds with the 1/3 cup measure of sugar
2) Transfer this to a mixing bowl and stir in the flour and lemon zest, followed by the egg whites to begin to form a dough. Add water 1 tbsp. at a time until the dough just comes together, then divide in half.
3) Flour your work surface and roll out each half to form two 11 inch discs.
4) Butter a 10″ spring form pan and place one disc carefully in the bottom.
To make the filling:
1) In the food processor, grind the other 1-1/3 c. almonds with the 3/4 c. measured amount of sugar.
2) In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks with one of the whole eggs and the cinnamon. Slowly stir in the ground almond and cinnamon mixture. At this point you will have a thick paste. Carefully spread this on the disc lining the bottom of the springform pan, but do not spread right to the edges.
3) Place the other disc on top of the almond mixture and seal the edges of the pie top and bottom with your fingers. Brush the top of the crust with the remaining beaten egg (note: you don’t have to use all of it, just enough to coat the crust).
4) Bake in a preheated oven for 30 min until a nice golden brown.
I served this with vanilla bean ice cream, but I also think a cinnamon-laced whip cream would be nice!
From my house and home to you and yours!