Adapted by Gastronomy of Italy by Anna del Conte and Very Eatalian
Special equipment: 10-inch cake pan or springform pan
For the apple mixture
- 2 Tablespoons water
- Juice of 1 small lemon
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 3 small (or 2 large) Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch dice
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
For the cake mixture
- 115 grams/4 oz. (¾ cup) skin-on or blanched whole, raw almonds
- 115 grams/4 oz. (½ cup) granulated sugar + 2 Tablespoons
- 150 grams/5½ oz. (1¼ cups) all-purpose flour
- 115 grams/4 oz. (scant 1 cup) fine-ground cornmeal
- Grated zest of 1 small lemon
- Pinch of salt (about 1/8 teaspoon)
- 2 large egg yolks
- 115 grams/4 oz. (½ cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing the cake pan
- Confectioner’s sugar to decorate
To make the apple mixture
- In a sauté pan over medium-low heat, add the water, lemon juice, and sugar. Stir to dissolve.
- Add in the diced apples, nutmeg, and cinnamon and cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes, or until the apples have softened and the juices are bubbling.
- Remove the apples from the heat and let cool to lukewarm.
To make the cake mixture
- Preheat the oven to 325°.
- Grease bottom and sides of the cake pan (or springform pan) and line the bottom of the pan with a round of parchment paper. Grease the parchment paper. Set aside.
- Place the almonds on a baking sheet and toast them for 5-7 minutes until fragrant, making sure not to burn them. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
- In a mixing bowl, combine ½ cup sugar, flour, cornmeal, lemon zest, and salt. Whisk to combine and set aside.
- Place the almonds and 2 Tablespoons of sugar in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse the ingredients until they form a coarse, even powder. Add the almond-sugar mixture to the flour mixture and whisk to incorporate.
- Add the egg yolks to the dry ingredients and using a spatula or wooden spoon, work the yolks into the mixture until completely incorporated. Add in the butter and work it into the dry ingredients until evenly distributed. The mixture will be crumbly but should hold together when pressed between your fingers.
- Place 2/3 of the flour mixture into the bottom of the cake pan and press it in evenly using your fingers, making sure it does not go up the sides of the pan. Place the apple mixture on top of the cake base and spread it out evenly. Scatter the remaining 1/3 of the flour mixture on top of the apples and gently spread it out in an even layer, so it covers most of the apple mixture.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the cake is golden and a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let the cake cool completely in the pan before turning it out onto a platter. Sprinkle confectioner’s sugar over the top of the cake before serving.
- Storage: Store on a platter covered lightly with foil and eat within 2-3 days.