Apricot Almond Layer Cake

Let’s Eat CAKE!

Apricot Almond Layer Cake

Apricot Almond Layer Cake  Apricot Almond Layer Cake is a rich, elegant dessert or ‘sweet treat’ to serve with tea.  At first, I described it as just  ‘good’ . . . but not ‘wow’.  The  second day it was a little better, even though the meringue gets a bit soft (mine was soft and chewy to begin with).  Overall the flavors blend together nicely, especially the second day. Even after a few days (yes – it lasted that long….quite rich so serving slices were small) it was still attractive to serve and tasted good. Apricot Almond Layer Cake

The photo accompanying the recipe shows a bright orange ‘apricot’ colored layer.Apricot Almond Layer Cake Since I used non-sulfured apricots, so they were dark to begin with.  I think the bright orange apricots might turn dark after cooking into the compote anyway, so would not maintain the pretty bright orange as in the photo! (as in so many published recipes, the photo was probably photo-shopped or un-cooked apricots were used). The flavor is subtle and very nice. I think I might use the ‘compote’ for other recipes such as with waffles, pancakes, or even French Toast; or possibly paired with cheese and crackers!

The Almond-Crunch was a fascinating process and works really well. Apricot Almond Layer Cake I recommend it for any recipe with ‘nut-crunch’ or ‘praline’ type additions or toppings!! I’m also thinking topping for ice-cream or perhaps lovely pumpkin pie?

The recipe seemed to make a large volume of meringue. Even after carefully drawing out the circles and piling on the fluffy meringue, I had lots left, so I daubed on some smaller circles. Another idea for this dessert – making individual servings!

Apricot Almond Layer Cake

 

 

 

Apricot Almond Layer Cake

 

 

 

Get the recipe: Apricot Almond Layer Cake

 

 

 

 

After-Thanksgiving Pie Thoughts (& Recipe!)

Thanksgiving is officially over, at least at my house. The left-overs have been eaten and I just finished the last few bites of my favorite Thanksgiving pie – Minced Fruit!

After-Thanksgiving Pie Thoughts: Minced FruitLingering over those last bites, and savoring each delicious crumb, I decided this is my favorite pie – second only to fresh Apricot Pie  (Childhood Memories Recalled and Annual Apricot Pie). I discovered this delicious version of  ‘mince’ pie – years ago in a Sunset magazine and it quickly became a ‘traditional’ favorite Thanksgiving pie at our house.

Fresh apples, oranges, lemons, and cranberries, mixed with raisins, and the usual ‘mincemeat’ flavorings, this ‘Minced Fruit Pie’ offers a fresh, bright citrus-y zing with a warm, mellow brandy undertone, all wrapped in an easy  ‘n0-fail’  (almost) whole wheat crust  which adds a delicate nutty flavor to it.Post-Thanksgiving Pie thoughts: Minced Fruit Pie

It is just TOO yummy to keep to myself,  so I’m sharing the recipe with you (it is also good for Christmas!) We like it accompanied with a sharp cheddar cheese – especially for breakfast!  But cool, creamy vanilla ice cream compliments it well, too, and sets it up for a more festive and elegant dessert.

Recipes:

MINCED FRUIT PIE

Ingredients:

  1. 1 cup raisins (dark or golden)
  2. 3 medium-sized tart green apples, cored and seeded
  3. 1/2 small unpeeled orange, seeds removed
  4. 1/4 small unpeeled lemon, seeds removed
  5. 1 cup sucanat (or brown sugar) packed
  6. 1 cup fresh whole cranberries
  7. 2 tablespoons brandy (or 1/2 teaspoon brandy flavoring)
  8. 1 tablespoon quick-cooking tapioca
  9. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  10. 1/4 teaspoon each: ground cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg
  11. Pastry for a double -crust 9 inch pie (easy ‘no-fail’ recipe follows)

Directions:

Put raisins, apples, orange, lemon, and cranberries in a food chopper and pulse until small chunks. Transfer to a bowl and stir in sugar, tapioca, brandy salt and spices.

Roll out half of the pastry, fit it into a 9 inch pie pan and trim pastry even with the pan rim.  Fill pie pan with fruit mixture

Roll out remaining pastry;  fit over filling. Trim so the top pastry extends 1 inch over edge, then tuck it under the edge of the bottom pastry. Crimp edge decoratively to seal edge around pie. Cut vents in top pastry.

Bake in a 425º oven for 8 minutes. Reduce heat to 350º and continue baking 35-40 minutes or until pastry is well browned and filling is bubbling through the vents. Cool on rack. Serve warm or at room temperature .

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

PIE CRUST (Easy ‘no-fail’ Whole Wheat)

Ingredients:

  1.  1/2 pound each Butter (2 sticks)
  2. 1/2 pound Cream Cheese (8 oz)
  3. 1 3/4 cups Whole Wheat flour. (or use half white & half whole wheat or a combination with whole wheat pastry flour – depending on how ‘wheat-y’ you want -increase to two cups flour total)
  4. 1/4 tsp salt

Directions:

  1. Soften and blend butter and cream cheese.
  2. Add flour and salt.
  3. Mix gently to incorporate all ingredients. Do Not Over Mix. (using a food processor: mix just until flour and butter/cream cheese forms a ball)
  4. If too soft, chill 10 minutes. Divide dough in half and roll top and bottom crusts. With pastry left-overs, cut out small decorations (leaves, apples, etc) and place on top of pie. Brush top of crust (& decorations) with thin coating of cream.
  5. Bake two-crust pies with raw filling at 425º for 8 minutes.
  6. Reduce heat to 350º and continue baking 35-40 minutes or until pastry is well browned and filling is bubbling through the vents. Cool on rack. Bake pre-cooked or canned filling 20 minutes.
  7. Bake a Single crust at 425º for 10 minutes