TORTA PRIMAVERA

almond shortbread
½ cup butter
½ cup flour
½ cup ground almonds
3 tablespoons of xylitol
pinch of salt
2 egg yolks

almond sponge cake
4 eggs
2 egg whites
4 tablespoons of xylitol
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon orange juice
2/3 cup ground almonds
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon orange peel
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice

4 tablespoons apricot jam

This is a new version of one of my favorite desserts – Torta Primavera. I haven’t made it for quite some time, and suddenly felt it would be perfect for this Easter.  For it is an Italian Easter cake, Margherita – sponge cake with raisins and apricot jam baked in a short crust pastry. I tried to make it healthier, not only did I try to cut on the butter but replaced the birch sugar  in place of regular sugar. I bake this cake in a form of a flower, but a regular spring form or tart form will be perfect.

Enjoy!

Combine the flour, ground almonds, xylitol, chopped butter and salt in a bowl and work it with a fork until it forms pea size mixture. Add the egg yolks (reserve the whites for the sponge) and gather the pastry together, work it slightly and form into a disk. Wrap it tightly and put in the fridge for the dough to rest, for half an hour to 2 hours. Roll the pastry and line the bottom and sides of a spring form pan. Prick the bottom of the pastry with a fork, chill again in the freezer for about 30 minutes, bake blind for 20 minutes at  400F until the dough is lightly golden. Remove the weights and bake for another 10 minutes. Split the eggs. Whip the whites until stiff put aside. In another bowl whip the egg yolks with xylitol, vanilla, orange and lemon juice and zest. Add flour, baking powder and almonds and salt, stir gently. At the end add the whipped whites in three portions gently adding that the whites do not collapse. After the short crust pasty has cooled down, spread the apricot jam on the bottom and pour on top the sponge cake mix. Put in the oven and bake at 375F for 45-50 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in cake will come out dry. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.

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