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Tina comments: This is my signature Passover dessert. Debby Stahl’s German mother-in-law gave the two of us this recipe over 30 years ago. Many students have told me that their families love this so much they make it year round.

Spanish Jews were the first to use ground nuts in place of some or all of the flour to make their tortes, especially for Pesach when flour was prohibited.

1/2-cup cake meal
1/2-cup potato starch
1-cup unsalted Parve kosher-for-Passover margarine
1/2-cup sugar
1 cup unpeeled finely ground hazelnuts, almonds, or a combination
1/2-teaspoon cinnamon
2 large eggs separated
˝ cup kosher-for-Passover raspberry jam, preferably seedless

Combine the cake meal and the potato starch in a processor work bowl. Using the cutting blade, add the margarine and pulse on and off until the mixture is well combined.

Add the sugar, hazelnuts or nut mixture, cinnamon and egg yolks and mix until smooth and well blended.

Take 2/3 of the dough and press over the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of an ungreased 9-inch spring form pan. Leave a 1 inch wide rim of dough around the top.

Spread with 1/2 cup or more of raspberry jam.

Gently squeeze egg-sized balls of remaining dough between your fingertips over the top of the jam to simulate weaving ropes for the lattice top. This dough cannot easily be handled, but don't worry because the ropes don't have to be perfect because they become smooth during baking.

Fasten the dough rope to the rim of dough and smooth it out with your finger tip pressing lightly.

Beat egg whites slightly and brush over the top of the lattice. As you brush the ropes will get smoother and more uniform.

Place the spring form pan on a cookie sheet that has very low sides and bake at 325F for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Partly cool before removing the rim of the pan. Do not attempt to remove the base of the pan. Serve the cake from the base.

Tina’s Tidbits:
  • Spring form pans often leak butter during baking so always place filled pan on a rimmed cookie sheet when baking.

  • When grinding nuts in a food processor, always pulse the mixture on and off rather than just turning the machine on. This will prevent nut butter from forming on the bottom of the bowl and your nuts will be more uniform in size.

  • This recipe should be made with preserves or jams not jelly so that its volume will remain intact after baking.

  • Nuts do not have to be pre-roasted if they are contained in pastry that is baked for over 40 minutes.

  • 1-˝ times the recipe will cover a 13x9 pan and can then be cut into 2-inch squares.

  • If you are planning to make more than one torte and/or want to freeze after baking, tightly line the base of the spring form with aluminum foil. Freeze in pan and then remove cake with foil attached and then freeze in a freezer bag. You must place frozen cake back onto the spring form pan base or directly onto a serving plate WHILE STILL FROZEN. This cake is delicate.

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