Tangerine Apricot Gluten Free Valentine's Day Cake from Olives, Lemons and Za'atar

I planned to attend book launch party for Olives, Lemons & Za'atar (Kyle Books, February 2014)by Rawia Bisharaof Tanoreen restaurant this evening. 

Even if party goes on with a few brave New Yorkers, it seems like all-day-snow will keep in my Montclair digs.

After sharing her savoury Red lentils and butternut squash recipe, here's a sweet treat for gluten-free Valentine's Day.

Flourless Tangerine Apricot Cake

As time goes on, more and more of my customers are requesting gluten-free dishes. It is easy to put together a meal with this in mind, since many of our savory dishes are naturally free of gluten. Of course, cakes and pastries are a challenge, but one I was happy to take on. I experimented with various glutenfree alternatives to flour and found that a combination of ground almonds and pistachios result in a flour with wonderful texture. Grind the nuts in a nut grinder to a consistency similar to farina; take care not to grind too finely or it will a-ect the cake’s texture. Serve with whipped cream, fresh fruit or ice cream.

Makes 10 to 12 Servings

One 16 inch Round Cake

8 tangerines, peeled, sectioned and seeded

8 apricots, peeled and pitted or 1/4 pound dried

1 cup sugar

1 pound peeled raw almonds, ground to the texture of farina

1 cup pistachios, skinned and ground to the texture of farina

1 cup crushed walnuts

1/2 cup shredded coconut (optional)

2 tablespoons baking powder

8 large eggs

4 tablespoons Frangelico liqueur (optional)

2 tablespoons vanilla extract

Apricot cake


Place the tangerines in a large pot with enough water to cover and bring to a boil.

Continue to boil until the fruit is soft, 25 to 35 minutes, depending on the ripeness of the fruit. Transfer to a colander to drain, then put the tangerines in a blender and puree until smooth. Alternatively, use a hand mixer to puree the tangerines.

Place the apricots in the same pot with enough water to cover and bring to a boil. Continue to boil until the fruit is soft, 15 to 20 minutes, depending on ripeness of fresh apricots or freshness of dried apricots. Transfer to a colander to drain, then put the apricots in a blender and puree until smooth. Alternatively, puree the apricots using a hand mixer.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare a 16-inch round baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the sugar, almonds, pistachios, walnuts, coconut, if using, and baking powder. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the eggs until pale yellow. Add the pureed apircots, the Frangelico, if using, and vanilla and beat until thoroughly incorporated. With the motor running, gradually sprinkle in the nut mixture to the egg mixture and mix until smooth, 3 to 5 minutes.

Pour the batter into the baking pan and bake until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool slightly.

To serve, run a knife around the edge of the cake pan to loosen it. Invert a serving platter over the pan and flip it over to release the cake. Serve the cake warm.

(* Recipe reproduced from 'Olives, Lemons & Za'atar' by Rawia Bishara -Kyle Books, February 2014- Photography by Peter Cassidy, all rights reserved...)

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