Video tip: Almond meal from scratch ... and a recipe

Almond meal -- it's simple to make, and goes with so many great dessert recipes

Almond meal can generally be found at well-stocked markets in the Los Angeles area. But occasionally I'll hear from a reader who can't seem to find it at any local stores.

No worries. Almond meal (or flour) is nothing more than ground almonds. Simply pulse the almonds in a food processor until finely ground. Be careful not to pulse too much, however, or you'll end up with more of a spread, or almond butter. Either regular (skin on) or blanched (skinless) almonds are fine.

Ready to go, the almond meal works perfectly in the recipe for whole wheat apple butter cake from Huckleberry you can find below. It was voted one of our Top 10 Recipes of the Year, and makes a great snack or dessert.

HUCKLEBERRY'S WHOLE-WHEAT APPLE BUTTER CAKE

 

Total time: 2 hours, 20 minutes | Serves 16 to 20

Note: Adapted from Huckleberry Bakery & Cafe.

COOKED APPLES

    2 tablespoons butter
    1 1/2 pounds apples (about 3 large), peeled and cut into large chunks (about 4 cups)
    1/4 cup sugar
    1/4 teaspoon salt

In a large saute pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the apples, then the sugar and salt, tossing to coat. Cook, stirring often, until the apples are just softened, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat and spread out the apples on a rimmed baking sheet to stop the cooking process. Set aside to cool.

CAKE ASSEMBLY

    2 lightly packed cups (7 ounces) almond meal
    1 cup (4.5 ounces) whole-wheat flour
    3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon (3.5 ounces) all-purpose flour
    1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon (2.5 ounces) cornmeal
    2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
    2 1/2 teaspoons salt
    1 pound butter
    2 1/4 cups (1 pound) sugar, plus 3 tablespoons, divided
    8 eggs
    2 tablespoons vanilla extract
    Cooked apples

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10-by-3-inch round cake pan and line bottom with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, sift together the almond meal, whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat the butter until softened. With the mixer going, beat in 1 pound sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until combined, then beat in the vanilla.

4. Beat in the dry ingredients, a spoonful at a time, just until incorporated. Be careful not to over-mix.

5. Fold in the cooked apples by hand. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake pan and sprinkle over the remaining 3 tablespoons sugar.

6. Bake the cake in the center of the oven until the cake is risen and a rich golden brown on top, springs back when touched, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 1/2 hours. Check the cake after 1 hour; if it browns too quickly, loosely tent the top with a piece of foil.

7. Remove the pan to a rack. Cool for 15 minutes before removing the cake from the pan.

Each of 20 servings: 434 calories; 7 grams protein; 45 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams fiber; 27 grams fat; 13 grams saturated fat; 136 mg cholesterol; 31 grams sugar; 406 mg sodium.

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