Organic Spelt, Almonds and Fruit, and Memories of Austria in August
by Andrea Milstein, Hartke is Online! Contributor
The month of August is my favorite month to spend in Austria. In my mind it is one of the more reliable months of the year when it comes to weather and hiking is on top of my outdoor agenda. We live smack in the middle of the Alps in the very western part of the country in spitting distance – so to say – of the Swiss border. The true reason for my preference has, however, more to do with my mother’s garden which at that time is overflowing with succulent edibles.
I arrived at the tail end of the plum season, just a tad too late for apricots but at the very hight of the blackberry and raspberry season. My mother hosts all of her 3 local adult children (plus an array of partners of my siblings who are at varying stages of divorced, freshly divorced or happily single) on Wednesdays for lunch. Unless you freshly miss a limb or have failed to catch your connecting flight out of Kathmandu, don’t even think of missing a Wednesday lunch. The food served is usually homegrown, meat and dairy from a nearby farmer, eggs from the neighbor’s chickens, vegetables from the garden, natürlich, and spelt from a farmer who grows it for the local baker in a field almost next door.
Since just about everyone considers a grain mill standard kitchen equipment, desserts are not the sinful and forbidden cross-yourself-before-you-eat-it indulgence we make them into, but a healthful and satisfying end to a meal. Actually, the tradition is to sit down to cake and coffee in the afternoon, a very civilized undertaking as far as I’m concerned. Here is the recipe of a cake my entire Austrian neighborhood seems to make when trying to get rid of their excess fruit. Use freshly ground spelt rather than white processed flour and you end up with a delicious and nutritious snack for the kids when they return from school.
Almond Plum Cake from Spelt
Here is a lovely and moist cake that I make in the food processor. If you don’t have one of those wonders, a hand mixer will do the trick as well. Using freshly ground spelt with all its wonderful attributes, makes this into a tasty and healthy snack. If you missed plum season, try and use apples or even raspberries. Cut the stone fruit or apples into smaller segments so they will remain of the surface.
¾ c finely ground almonds
8oz butter, cut into pieces
¼ c milk
11/3c fresh spelt flour
1tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
8-10 Italian plums, quartered or alternative fruit
Preheat oven to 350 °F.
In a food processor add ground almonds and sugar to the work bowl and process for a few seconds. Add butter and vanilla and pulse multiple times or until batter is smooth. Add eggs and milk and process until all is well combined. Add flour, baking powder and salt and process until smooth.
Grease a 9” round cake pan with removable bottom with butter and pour the batter into the pan. Top with cut up plums, apricots, apples or raspberries and bake for 50 to 60 minutes. Insert toothpick to check if cake is done.
Let cool on a rack and remove from pan.
Andrea Milstein is a wife, mother, homemaker and cooking instructor in Oakton, Virginia. She is an active member of the Weston A. Price Foundation and the Northern Virginia Whole Foods Meetup group. Visit her Cooking with an Accent website. Andrea is a regular contributor to Hartke Is Online! Please let us know in the comments if you try one of her delicious recipes!
This post is part of the Real Food Wednesday blog carnival, see more traditional treats on Kelly the Kitchen Kop blog.