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Almond Torte with Sugared Apricots



This torte will rock your socks off. No, really, it will. I recommend that you run out to a grocery store and buy the ingredients immediately, and buy enough for double the recipe, because you'll probably find yourself craving it again later in the week. Chances are you won't find ground blanched almonds, but you can grind whole blanched almonds in either a clean coffee grinder or food processor. If you accidentally grind for too long, and the almond ends up clumping together, just throw the almonds in with the wet ingredients instead of the dry.

This recipe is from the always amazing Molly.

Almond Torte with Sugared Apricots

1/3 cup finely ground blanched almonds
2/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large egss

6 ripe apricots, halved and pitted (or 1 can halved apricots)
1 - 2 tbsp granulated sugar

Set an oven rack in the middle position, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the ground almonds, flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In another medium bowl (or the bowl of stand mixer), beat the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy, stopping to scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the dry ingredients and the eggs and beat to combine, scraping down the bowl as needed. Do not overmix. The batter will be pale yellow and very thick.

Pour and scrape the batter into an ungreased 9-inch springform pan(cover the base of the pan with parchment paperand clamp the pan sides on top of the paper, then tear off the excess), and use a rubber spatula to spread it evenly. Arrange the apricots cut-side-up on top of the batter, and sprinkle them with sugar. If they’re particularly sweet, you should only need about 1 tablespoon, but if they’re only so-so, you might want up to two.

Slide the pan into the oven, and bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Do not overbake. Remove from the oven, and let cool on a wire rack. Run a thin knife around the perimeter of the cake; then release the sides of the pan. Serve at room temperature or slightly warm, preferably with vanilla ice cream or lightly sweetened whipped cream.

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Grilled Fish with Orange-Fennel Salsa



We made this recipe last week, and I have to admit that I scarfed it all down in record time. Not only is it super healthy, but the salsa is really. delicious. I could eat this salsa (it's almost more of a salad) by the bowlful. It also refrigerated beautifully and tasted great the next day.

Grilled Fish with Orange-Fennel Salsa

5 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
2 tsp plus 1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp minced peeled fresh ginger
2 tsp sugar
3 oranges
1 medium fennel bulb, trimmed and cut into matchstick-size strips
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
4 6 to 8 oz rockfish or sea bass fillets

Whisk 2 tbsp oil, vinegar, cilantro, 2 tsp soy sauce, ginger and sugar in a medium bowl. Cut the peel and pith from the oranges; discard. Holding oranges over the bowl to catch juices, cut between membranes to release segments into bowl. Add fennel and onion; toss gently. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made up to 3 hours ahead. Cover; chill.)

Prepare barbecue or pan. Mix 3 tbsp oil, 1 tbsp soy sauce and garlic in a bowl. Turn fish in oil mixture to coat, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill until just opaque in the center, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to plates, and spoon salsa over.

Serves 2.

Bon Appetit, September 2000

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