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Nadia's Morning Coffee Cake
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Nadia’s Morning Coffee Cake
with Winter Fruits

(La Torta di Nadia con Frutta d’Inverno
per il Caffelatte)
Marcella Cucina

Copyright 1997 by Marcella Hazan
 HaperCollins Publishers, Inc.

“ ‘Caffelatte’ is what Italians of all ages have for breakfast at home. For small children it is a cupful of warm milk lightly stained with coffee, the ratio of
coffee to milk increasing with one's years. It is often accompanied by some
store-bought biscuits, but not in my assistant Nadia's family. She lives on
her father's farm outside Venice with her husband and small boy, and for her
son Tommaso she bakes wholesome cakes with fresh fruit. He has some with
his ‘caffeelatte’ and takes another piece to school to eat for ‘merenda’, recess.
I was particularly taken with the cake Nadia makes when there is no more
summer fruit on the farm. She uses pears and apples and always adds a banana
she buys in town. The proportions of one fruit to another may vary, and indeed
Nadia says they always do, but nothing much can go wrong or affect the cake's
plainspoken, engagingly fresh taste.

8 to 12 portions

3 eggs
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
The grated peel of 2 oranges
A large pear, about 1/2 to 3/4 pound,
or 2 smaller ones
1 crisp, juicy apple
1 banana
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 3/4 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 tablespoon butter for greasing the pan

A 10-inch springform pan

1. Turn on the oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Choose a mixing bowl that can subsequently contain all the ingre-
dients. Put in the eggs and sugar and beat them until they are
foamy and form yellow ribbons.
3. Add the salt, olive oil, and grated orange peel - making sure you
haven't grated any of the bitter white pith beneath the orange skin -
and mix thoroughly.
4. Peel all the fruit. Core the pear and apple and cut them into thin
1/2-inch pieces. Slice the banana very thin. Put the fruit into a
separate bowl and toss with the lemon juice.
5. Combine the flour and baking powder and mix them into the
beaten eggs, incorporating them thoroughly.
6. Add the fruit to the bowl with the eggs and flour, mixing well to
distribute it evenly.
7. Smear the bottom and sides of the springform pan with butter,
then pour into it the fruit batter. Level off by shaking the pan
from side to side; do not press down on the batter.
8. Bake on the middle level of the preheated oven for 50 to 55
minutes, until the top of the cake becomes colored a light gold.

Ahead-of-Time Note: The finished cake will keep fresh for
about 5 days, wrapped with foil and refrigerated.

 
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