There is an Italian cake called torta della nonna, but this is MY nonna Bruna's cake. She used to make it often, and many times she made it just for me when I was going to see her. Last time she made it for me it was December 1998, she was 90 years old and kicking. I miss you Nonna.
It is an easy cake to make, very rustic, but it looks so pretty with all the apple slices arranged like rose petals. Once I brought it to some friends' house to celebrate their son E.'s birthday and he was hooked for ever. Often when they come over for dinner I make it for him, but then deny it and then surprise him when it is time for dessert, it has become our joke. This is for you too, E., you are one of my biggest fans.
I made this yesterday and this is what was left this morning, just perfect to eat with my cappuccino.
Torta Della Nonna
150 gr. butter, softened
100 gr. granulated sugar
2 large eggs at room temperature
200 gr. pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
zest of a lemon
2 medium golden delicious apples
50 gr. brown sugar
Cream the butter with the sugar and the zest until fluffy. Add one egg at the time. Sift the flour with the baking powder and then add to the egg mixture. Mix only until incorporated and transfer onto a buttered and lined cake pan (8-9"). Quarter and core the apples and cut in thin slices. Starting at the center, arrange the slices like rose petals. Sprinkle with the brown sugar and bake in a 350F oven.