One of the most traditional of all ingredients in Italian cooking is the pine nut. Pine nuts are mainly gathered in Tuscany, along the sea shore where there are whole forests of pines. One of the most beautiful is the Migliarino forest near Pisa.
Pine nuts are used in sweet dishes, often with raisins or candied fruits, in savory dishes, and even with fish and meat. Normally they are used raw, but occasionally as in this recipe, they are first toasted in the oven.
- 4 eggs, separated
- 3/4 cup superfine sugar, divided
- 1/3 cup butter
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 6 ounces pine nuts
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9-inch springform pan. Set aside.
In a bowl, beat the egg yolks with half the sugar. In another bowl, beat the remaining sugar with the butter. Gently stir the two mixtures together. Gradually add this to the flour, mixing in a little at a time to avoid lumps. Beat the egg whites until stiff and gently fold them into the mixture, taking care to retain as much air as possible.
Scatter the pine nuts over a baking sheet. Toast in the oven until they begin to color. Grind 5 ounces of them in a blender and reserve the remainder. Fold the ground nuts into the batter. Fill the prepared pan with the batter. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out dry.
Turn the cake out onto a serving plate. Decorate the top with the remaining pine nuts, sprinkle with the powdered sugar and serve.
Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Russell. All rights reserved.
nutrition information per serving
359 calories; 18g total fat; 134mg cholesterol; 28mg sodium; 42g carbohydrates; 2g fiber; 10g protein
These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.
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