Sa­man­tha’s recipe cor­ner

BBC History Magazine - - Contents - SA­MAN­THA’S RECIPE COR­NER Ev­ery is­sue, pic­ture edi­tor Sa­man­tha Nott brings you a recipe from the past. This month it’s a spi­ral-shaped al­mond and cherry cake from the Adri­atic

Hail­ing from the sun­drenched Adri­atic is­land of Rab, this soft, squishy al­mond cake was re­port­edly first served to Pope Alexan­der III in 1177, and quickly be­came a favourite with the is­land's monks and nuns. It's now a clas­sic dish wheeled out at wed­dings, bap­tisms and other spe­cial oc­ca­sions.

I've cho­sen to make my Rab Cake in a tra­di­tional spi­ral shape, but all sorts of de­signs are now pop­u­lar.

IN­GRE­DI­ENTS For the pas­try: 250g flour 25g but­ter 1 tsp su­gar 1 egg 1 tbsp wa­ter pinch of salt For the fill­ing:

500g ground al­monds 450g su­gar 3 tbsp Maraschino (or cherry brandy) 3 eggs zest of 1 or­ange zest of 1 lemon ic­ing su­gar (for dust­ing)

METHOD

Make the pas­try by kneed­ing to­gether the flour, but­ter, su­gar, egg, salt and wa­ter un­til it forms a firm mix­ture. Wrap it in cling­film and place in the fridge for 30 min­utes.

In a bowl, mix to­gether the ground al­monds, su­gar, or­ange and lemon zest, eggs and Maraschino to make the fill­ing.

Roll out the pas­try thinly, and place on bak­ing pa­per on an oven tray.

Lay the fill­ing on the pas­try in a spi­ral shape.

Us­ing a sharp knife, cut the pas­try into a spi­ral, fol­low the shape of the fill­ing, but leave a lit­tle ex­tra space on both sides.

Pull the edges of the pas­try up to make the sides, so that the fill­ing is con­tained.

Bake in a pre­heated oven at 160°C for around 40 min­utes or un­til golden.

Cool, then dust with ic­ing su­gar be­fore serv­ing.

VER­DICT

“Per­fect for fans of marzi­pan or cherry bakewell”

Dif­fi­culty: 5/10 Time: 1 hour

Rab cake: a heav­enly al­mond pas­try first served to the pope

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