Tea Cake with Pignoli and Almonds
Cake per il Té
4 egg yolks, at room
1 whole egg, at room
3/4 cup superfine sugar (150 g)
Grated zest of 1 large lemon
1/2 cups flour (180 g)
1/3 cup pine nuts (50 g)
10 tablespoons unsalted butter,
melted and cooled (150 g)
3/4 cup blanched whole almonds
The tea cake is still popular in Italy, and tea parties are still given, with tables full of delicious
things—sandwiches, hot hors d’oeuvres, open-face canapés with salmon, caviar, and so on. All kinds of sweet cakes, bonbons, and miniature fruit tarts are passed, and a granddaughter usually “pours,” with another granddaughter to help. After a certain hour, the spumante is brought out. It is a long affair but very pleasant. This is a tea cake recipe given me by a friend. It is her grandmother’s special cake, with “1932”—the year she was given the recipe—written at the end. This is also a good breakfast cake, especially for children.
1 Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Butter a 10-by-4-by 3-inch (25-by-8-by-6-cm) loaf pan. Line the bottom with waxed paper and butter the paper.
2 Beat the egg yolks and whole egg in an electric mixer. Gradually add the sugar and beat for 4 to 6 minutes, or until the mixture is a light lemon color. Add the lemon zest. Remove the mixer bowl and fold in the flour by hand together with the pine nuts. Now fold in
the melted butter by hand, one-third at a time.
3 Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and sprinkle the whole almonds over the top.
4 Bake the cake for 50 minutes, or until it is browned on top and a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let the cake cool for 10 minutes in the pan on a rack. Turn out the cake and remove the waxed paper. Let cool completely before cutting.
5 Store the cake in a tin or other cake box. Put a wedge of apple in the box to keep the cake fresh.
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