Saturday, October 08, 2011

Cinnamon-Apple Walnut Torte

My mom recently gave us the cookbook, Coffee Cakes- Simple, Sweet and Savory by Lou Seibert Pappas.  It is SO filled with YUM I can barely stand it!  We've purchased the ingredients for a few of the fall-ish desserts and coffee cakes, so be prepared to see a lot of apple, cranberry and nut creations.

When I read this recipe describing it as a torte, like an apple pudding cake, I was expecting something quite different than what it turned out to be.  It's more like a sweet, cinnamony apple dessert that would be a great accompaniment to rich vanilla ice cream.  I tried it twice, once beating the eggs lightly until frothy and the second time beating until very frothy.  I liked the first option better and that is the one I'll share.

Lou Seiber Pappas writes,
"this fast, favorite recipe from Schramsberg Winery in Calistoga, California, was featured in my Winemakers' Cookbook published in the Eighties.  Diced apples, walnuts, and dried cranberries, very lightly bound in an egg and sugar batter, make home apple pudding-cake.  Top with a spoonful of Greek yogurt for a morning treat or embellish with ice cream for an easy guest dinner."
We had friends over the other day and I was able to quickly whip this one up for an afternoon treat.  It is fast!

Cinnamon-Apple Walnut Torte
Makes one 9-inch torte


2 eggs
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (divided, 1 teaspoon for apple mixture, 1 teaspoon for topping)
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (divided, reserve 1/3 cup for topping)
3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and diced (I sliced ours)
1/2 cup dried cranberries or golden raisins
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
Greek yogurt, vanilla ice cream, frozen yogurt, or whipped cream for serving (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Heavily butter a 9-inch pie pan.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs until frothy with a wooden spoon or an electric mixer and beat in the brown sugar and vanilla until light.  In a medium bowl, stir the flour salt, and 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon together to blend.  Stir the flour mixture into the egg mixture.

Reserve 1/3 cup of the nuts for the topping.  Mix the remaining nuts (2/3 cup), the apples, and cranberries or golden raisins into the batter.  Spread evenly in the prepared pan.  In a small bowl, mix the granulated sugar, the remaining 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and the reserved nuts together and scatter evenly over the batter.

Ready for the oven

This aroma of this dessert will fill your home with cozy fall wonder.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the cake is set and golden brown.  Let cool slightly.  Serve warm or at room temperature, cut into wedges.  Top with yogurt, ice cream, frozen yogurt or whipped cream, if desired.

Serve with ice cream.  Yum!

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