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Almond and Raspberry Torte

Half cake, half pudding, this torte is delicious topped with yogurt mixed with an equal quantity of sour cream. If you've no raspberries, try sweet or tart fresh cherries instead, but they will need to be pitted.

2 cups (1/2 pound) fresh raspberries
1 cup flour
11/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
11/4 cups ground almonds
Confectioners' sugar for sprinkling

Butter an 8-inch springform cake pan, line the base with wax or parchment paper, and then butter and flour it. Pick over the raspberries. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cream the butter until smooth in an electric mixer. Add the sugar and continue to beat until it is soft and light, 2-3 minutes. Beat in the egg until well mixed, about 1 minute. Stir in the ground almonds by hand, followed by the flour mixture. Expect the batter to be quite stiff.

Spread half the butter in the cake pan. Sprinkle the raspberries on top and dot with the remaining batter so the fruit is almost covered. Bake until the torte starts to shrink from the sides of the pan and the top is firm when lightly pressed with a fingertip, 45 to 55 minutes. The top will be rustic-looking, like a crumble.

Let the torte cool for 10-15 minutes in the pan. Then loosen the sides and slide it onto a rack to cool completely. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar and serve warm or at room temperature.

Anne Willan, La Varenne at The Greenbrier

Sunday, May 09, 1999

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