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Apple Cake with Cardamom and Almonds
from the kitchen of Sharmagne Leland-St. John

½  cup matzo meal, plus additional for dusting
1 cup slivered almonds, toasted and cooled
½  teaspoon salt
½  teaspoon ground cardamom
5 large eggs, separated, at room temperature for a half    
1 cup granulated sugar, separated
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and coarsely grated
Vegetable oil for greasing pan

Powdered sugar
1/3  cup granulated sugar
½  teaspoon potato starch


Place the oven rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease a 9 inch  spring-form pan with the oil and dust with matzo meal.  Tap off excess.

Pulse the almonds in a food processor with 1/2 cup matzo meal, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and cardamom until finely ground, being cautious not to pulse it to a paste.  Beat the yolks in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until smooth, then add  1 tablespoon at a time, until you have used  3/4 of the cup of  sugar, constantly beating until  the mixture is very thick and pale, 2 to 3 minutes.  Stir in the nut mixture, then the apples.  Clean the beaters, and in another bowl beat the egg whites with the remaining 1/4  teaspoon salt at medium speed until they form soft peaks. Add the remaining 1/4  cup sugar, a little at a time, continuously beating until whites just form stiff peaks.   Stir 1/4 of the whites into the yolk mixture to lighten, then fold in the remaining whites, gently but thoroughly.   Scrape the batter into the pan and sharply, rap the  pan one time on your  work surface to eliminate large air bubbles.

Bake for approximately 40 to 45  minutes, or until puffed, browned, and the top springs back when touched.  Transfer to a rack and cool completely in the pan.  Do not be concerned if the cake sinks slightly in the center. When cooled, slip a  knife around the edge of cake to loosen, then remove side of pan.

Grind the sugar in coffee or spice grinder until powdered, then mix together with the potato starch.  Sift some of the sugar over the cake before serving.  Save the rest for another use.




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