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Huguenot Torte

3/4 cup ground pecans
3/4 cup ground English walnuts
1/2 cup ground black walnuts
2 medium apples, peeled
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 large egg yolk, room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
16 perfect pecan halves
granulated sugar, for pecans
2/3 cup cream

Prepare two 9-inch cake pans by lightly greasing them, lining them
with waxed paper or parchment, greasing the paper, and lightly
dusting with flour. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and put a pan
of water in the bottom of the oven.

Mix the ground nuts together. Very finely chop the apples with a
knife. You should have 1 3/4 cups. In a warmed electric mixer
bowl, beat the eggs and egg yolk on high speed until doubled in
volume. It may take 10 minutes or more. Slowly add the sugar
while beating and continue beating until the volume is tripled.
The eggs should be very thick and light in color. Don't be afraid
of over-beating. Sift the flour over the egg mixture. Sprinkle
the ground nuts over all, followed by the apples. With a large
spatula, fold the mixture together rapidly but gently, being certain
to bring all the elements from the bottom of the bowl up into the
mixture. Divide the batter between 2 cake pans and bake in the
middle of the oven for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until the top is
golden brown and the sides have begun to pull away. Do not push
on the meringue like top, or it may cave in. Place on a rack in
a draft-free place and let cool completely. Lightly toast the
pecan halves while the cakes are in the oven.

While the pecans are hot, quickly dip them in water and then roll
them in granulated sugar until they are lightly coated. Let them
dry on a rack. The cakes must be perfectly cool, or the heat with
melt the cream. Invert the pans to remove the cakes, discarding
the paper liners, and turn the cakes back over again so that the
crusty top surface is in its original position. Place each cake
on a serving platter. Using an electric standing mixer, fitted
with a whip attachment, whip the cream with some sugar until stiff
and place 8 dollops of the cream evenly around each cake. Garnish
each bit of cream with a sugared pecan and serve with a shot glass
of bourbon neat.

This recipe yields 16 servings.

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