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Alabama Lemon Pecan Torte
From Jewish Cooking in America, by Joan Nathan

The following recipe, which was originally an almond lemon torte in Europe, often served for Passover, became a pecan lemon torte in Alabama. An early version was included in the 20th Century Cookbook, published in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1897, by C. F. Moritz and Adelle Kahn.


For the Torte:

7 large eggs, separated
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups coarsely ground pecans
1 tablespoon lemon rind
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons matzah meal

For the Glaze:

1 large egg yolk
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon unsalted butter or margarine
1 tablespoon lemon rind


1. Whisk together the egg yolks and the sugar in a large bowl until blended. Stir in the pecans and the lemon rind.

2. In a separate bowl beat the egg whites and the lemon juice until the whites are stiff but not until dry peaks form. Stir one-fourth of the whites into the yolk mixture. Gently fold in the remaining whites until blended.

3. Scrape into a greased 9-inch springform pan that has been dusted with matzah meal.

4. Bake in a preheated 325-degree oven for 1 hour or until firm to the touch in the center. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. The cake may sink in the center.

5. Meanwhile, prepare the glaze. Combine the egg yolk, lemon juice, sugar, and butter or margarine in a small saucepan. Bring to simmering over medium heat, whisking constantly. Remove from the heat. Stir in the lemon rind.

6. Poke holes in the top of the cake with long skewers so that the glaze can soak in. With the cake still in the springform pan, spoon the glaze over. Let the cake stand a few minutes until the glaze seeps into the cake. Then remove the cake from the pan by running a thin knife around the rim to release the cake. Garnish with lemon rind, if you wish.

Yield: 8 servings (Pareve or Dairy)

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