Nectarine Torte with Hazelnuts & Orange
Tortes are rich cakes often made with little or no flour, but usually include ground nuts or bread crumbs. A showcase for summer stone fruit, each bite of this simple, subtly sweet cake is an ode to the end of the season. Based on old-fashioned European plum cakes, this nectarine adaptation starts with a simple ingredient list. Adding ground hazelnuts and fresh orange zest give it big-time flavor, while the nuts create a moist cake. And the lack of any liquid dairy ingredients makes for a cake strong enough to support all those nectarines.
This torte is versatile, too. It works well with several other kinds of stone fruits — apricots, peaches, plums, pluots, and even cherries are all good. You can also swap the orange zest for basically any citrus zest, and substitute other nuts, such as almonds, for the hazelnuts.
Packed with fruit and a sweet-nutty taste, this torte is delicious on its own with just a dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream. Or take things over the top with a drizzle of sweet orange-brandy sauce. It adds a rich dimension to this humble torte, where each bite is a nod to al fresco dining.
FOR THE TORTE, PROCESS:
FOR THE SAUCE, COOK:
How to Skin Hazelnuts
The skins of hazelnuts can be bitter. To remove them, boil 2 cups water plus 3 Tbsp. baking soda, and add the nuts. After 3–5 minutes, shock the nuts in ice water — the skins will rub right off. Be sure to dry the nuts well before toasting them.
Preheat oven to 350°. Coat a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick spray and flour.
For the torte, process sugar and hazelnuts in a food processor until nuts are finely ground, 1 minute.
Add flour, baking powder, and salt; pulse to combine. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse sand, about 10 seconds. Add eggs, vanilla, and zest, and process until smooth, 10 seconds.
Transfer batter to prepared pan; spread batter evenly and smooth surface. Arrange nectarines, skin sides up, over surface of batter.
Run a knife around edges to loosen torte; let cool in pan on a rack to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
For the sauce, cook marmalade, brandy, brown sugar, and orange juice in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until thick and syrupy, 10 minutes.
Remove cooled torte from pan, dust with powdered sugar, and serve with sauce.
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 15%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 46mg 15%
Sodium 83mg 3%
Carbs 35g 11%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.