passover week 2019 - raspberry almond squares

When I made the Louise cake with plums from Sweet by Ottolenghi and Helen Goh, I thought it would be quite easy to make a Passover friendly version.

The original Louise cake has a lemon flavoured shortbread base topped with raspberry jam and a layer of coconut meringue. For this incarnation I went back to the original raspberry jam layer but swapped the coconut in the meringue for flaked almonds.

I had a small piece as I was worried the jam would make the squares too sweet but my slice tasted just fine. I took this into work and waited for comments. No one seemed to notice anything untoward so I was satisfied I'd met my brief. 

Here's the recipe for you which makes 9 squares. For all my recipes I use a 250 ml cup, a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20°C.

Raspberry almond squares
75g unsalted butter, softened 
¼ cup caster sugar
1 tsp finely grated lemon rind
½ cup superfine matzo meal
15g potato starch
Pinch salt
¼ cup almond meal
½ cup raspberry jam or jam of your choice

Meringue Topping
30 g flaked almonds, lightly toasted
2 large egg whites 
pinch salt
scant ½ cup caster sugar
Seeds of ½ vanilla bean
½ tsp lemon juice
½ tsp potato starch

Heat the oven to 180°C.  Line the base and sides of a 7 inch square high-sided cake tin with baking parchment. 

To make the base, place the butter, sugar and lemon rind into a food processor and mix until the butter is light and creamy. Into a separate bowl, sift the matzo meal, the potato starch and salt then stir in the almond meal. Pour the flour mixture into the food processor and whiz. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin and level the top with a spoon.  Bake for 10-15 minutes until lightly golden. 

While the base is baking prepare the meringue topping. To make the meringue, in the bowl of a stand mixer whisk the egg whites and salt on medium-high speed until soft peaks from. Add the sugar a tablespoon at a time and continue whisking on a high speed until the egg whites become stiff and glossy. Add the vanilla seeds, lemon juice and potato starch and whisk again. Finally, add the toasted flaked almonds. 

Spread the hot base with jam, then topping. Swirl the meringue around in order to get rough waves and peaks.  Bake for 40 minutes at 180°C or until the meringue has formed a crust and is lightly coloured. 

If the meringue is browning too quickly you may need to shield the top with a piece of baking paper. Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool for at least 30 minutes before removing from the tin. Cut into 9 squares to serve.

See you all again tomorrow with some more baking for Passover week 2019.

Bye for now,


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