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Wine Maker's Grape Cake

MyCookbook Recipe Database
MyCookbook Member: MarthasRecipes
Recipe Category: Dessert
Recipe Preparation Level: moderate
    A grape cake is a Tuscan invention, made to celebrate the grape harvest and reward a long day’s work in the vineyards. This recipe, brought to us by author and food critic Patricia Wells, is a version of the traditional Tuscan schiacciata con l’uva, which is a flat bread with grapes baked into the dough. Unlike other cakes, this one calls for a combination of olive oil and butter, which gives it a light, moist texture and a distinctive taste.

    Serves 8 to 12

    Butter and flour, for preparing pan
    2 large eggs, room temperature
    2/3 cup granulated sugar
    4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
    1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    1/3 cup whole milk
    1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
    3/4 teaspoon baking powder
    Pinch of sea salt
    Grated zest of 1 lemon
    Grated zest of 1 orange
    10 ounces small fresh purple grapes
    Confectioners’ sugar, for garnish

    1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Generously butter and flour a 9-inch springform pan, tapping out any excess flour. Set aside.

    2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs and sugar until thick and lemon colored, about 3 minutes. Add the butter, oil, milk, and vanilla extract, and mix until blended.

    3. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Add the lemon and orange zests, and toss to coat the zest with flour. Spoon the mixture into the bowl of batter, and stir with a wooden spoon until thoroughly blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and mix once more. Set aside for 10 minutes, to allow the flour to absorb the liquids.

    4. Stir about 3/4 of the grapes into the batter. Spoon the batter into the prepared cake pan, and smooth out the top with a spatula.

    5. Place the pan in the center of the oven. Bake for 15 minutes, then sprinkle top of the cake with remaining grapes. Bake until the top is a deep golden brown and the cake feels quite firm when pressed with a fingertip, about 40 minutes more, for a total baking time of 55 minutes. Remove to a rack to cool. After 10 minutes, run a knife along the sides of the pan. Release, and remove the side of the springform pan, leaving the cake on the pan base. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar just before serving. Serve at room temperature, cut into thin wedges.

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