Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Passover Peach Melba Torte

This has been adapted from my CD-rom, Amazing Passover Desserts (you probably know that since it's on the cover of the CD!). If you have access to fresh Freestone peaches (pits come out cleanly) this is ideal. If not, fresh or poached pears or even canned peaches or pears can be used with good result.

Pareve or Dairy
SERVES 6 - 8

Almond Sponge Cake
1-1/4 cups sliced almonds
4 teaspoons matzo cake meal (DO NOT USE REGULAR MATZO MEAL)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
4 large eggs, room temperature, separated
2/3 cup sugar

Raspberry Filling1 bag (12 ounces) frozen raspberries
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar
2-1/2 teaspoons potato starch
1 cup sliced almonds
3 - 4 peaches (freestones), fresh and ripe
2 lemons

Garnishes (optional)1 pint raspberries, fresh
Passover Richwhip®, thawed and whipped or Whipped Cream (see Hazelnut Pear Torte for recipe)

For the cake:
PREHEAT OVEN TO 350 degrees F., with a shelf in the middle of the oven. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan and line the bottom with kosher parchment paper.

1. Toast the almonds in the oven for 5 - 10 minutes or until aromatic. Put the nuts in the freezer for 5 minutes to cool them.

2. Place the nuts, matzo cake meal and cinnamon in a processor bowl and process until finely ground. Transfer the contents to a bowl.

3. Place the egg yolks in a large mixer bowl and beat with an electric mixer at medium speed just to blend the eggs together. Gradually add 1/2 cup of the sugar and continue beating until the eggs are thick, pale yellow and the mixture will hold a ribbon

4. Fold in the nuts in three additions.

5. In a large, clean, and grease-free bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy throughout. Gradually add 2 tablespoons of sugar and continue beating until the whites are stiff but not dry. Stir 1/3 of the whites into the yolks to lighten the batter. Fold in the remaining whites until no white streaks show.

6. Scrape the batter into the pan. BAKE 25 - 35 MINUTES or until a tester inserted in the middle of the cake comes out dry.

7. Set the cake on a wire rack to cool. When cool, run a knife around the edge and then invert onto a cake board and reinvert onto another cake board so that the cake is right side up.

8. For this recipe you need a 1/16-inch hollow in the top of the cake to hold the filling. If necessary, press down on the edges of the cake to lessen the hollow or if the cake is flat, you can build up the edges with almond slices as follows: Dab a small amount of the filling on the bottom of each almond. Place a row of almonds along the perimeter of the cake. Place the second row staggered, just like a brick or stone wall would be built and continue building the wall until the hollow is even and deep enough to accommodate the filling. Reserve the remaining almonds for garnish.

For the topping:1. Defrost the frozen berries in a bowl, overnight, or in a microwave for 10 minutes on defrost.

2. Put the berries through the fine blade of a food mill and then through a fine mesh strainer to remove all of the seeds.

3. Place the potato starch in a small bowl or jar. Add a tablespoon of raspberry puree and stir to make a smooth paste. Add a couple more tablespoons of puree and stir until the mixture is liquidy.

4. Place the remaining puree, lemon juice and sugar in a small saucepan. Heat on medium, stirring often, until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to medium high and cook just until the puree comes to a boil. Whisk in the potato starch mixture. Continue to boil until the puree "clears" (the puree will turn cloudy and whitish when the starch is added). If there are any lumps, strain through a medium mesh strainer into a container.

5. Immediately, pour the warm filling slowly into the hollow to create a thin (1/16-inch) layer of filling (you will need slightly more than half of the filling). Reserve excess filling. Cool completely, and then refrigerate overnight.

6. Up to 3 hours before serving, loosen the peach skins by plunging peaches into boiling water for 30 seconds. Cool under cold water and peel. Slice peaches into wedges a scant 1/8-inch thick. To prevent darkening, toss the peach wedges in fresh lemon juice.

7. Arrange the peaches over the raspberry filling in overlapping circles. Start from the outside edge with the tips of the peaches perpendicular to cake edge. Continue inward with tips overlapping, as per the above photo.

8. Brush the peaches with some of the reserved raspberry filling, thinning it with Passover wine, if necessary. Brush the sides of the torte with the raspberry filling, crush the reserved almonds lightly and press them to the sides. Serve the torte as is, or with whipped Passover Richwhip®. For a dairy dessert, it’s great with ice cream.

If fresh freestone peaches are not available, canned peaches or Vanilla Poached Pears. If you don't want to make the raspberry filling, you can use raspberry jam.

CAN PREPARE AHEADAlmond Cake , 1 day ahead or freeze for 3 months
Finished Torte, 3hours ahead



Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

What a gorgeous looking Torte! Amazing!



Penny Wantuck Eisenberg said...

Thanks! And I always find that making them look pretty, makes them taste better.

Reeni♥ said...

This looks so scrumptious! The raspberry filling sounds delicious. I would of never thought to pair peaches and raspberries together!

Penny Wantuck Eisenberg said...

Pears and raspberry are also fabulous. I have a terrific pear and raspberry tart that I'll be posting soon.

giz said...

I'm thrilled to have found your blog. This tart is fabulous and is now on my dessert list.

Penny Wantuck Eisenberg said...

Thanks! I love tarts and have made them for every occasion. I have dairy-free ones, dairy versions and Passover ones. They're so light and refreshing after a meal.

Lori Lynn said...

It looks wonderful Penny. Gosh, I wonder if I can fit it in to my cooking schedule. I cook for 32 people, that's a lot of matzoh balls! I usually do not change the menu much 1. Because it is darn good and 2. Because there is so much to do!
My cousin is a big help. Maybe we can make this, I am going to email it to her.

So, I am planning a Passover Round-Up, hope you can join in.
Lori Lynn

P.S. Looking forward to further exploring your blog.

Dror H. said...

That's a recipe I attend to try at Passover 2010! :)

Anonymous said...

If you use canned peaches, be sure they conatin sugar and not high fructose corn syrup. Sugar is kosher for passover. High fructose corn syrup is not.

Kosher recipes said...

Wow great stuff here- i love raspberries recipes