Apricot jam cake topped with crumbles and walnuts. A simple, sweet and delicious jam traybake.
After the Famous Romanian Cakes Series from last month, featuring extremely delicious yet rather laborious to make Romanian cakes like the Romanian Boema Cake or the Lemon Cake – Lamaita, I am getting back to the basics now and give you the recipe for a super easy to make Romanian cake, the so-called Prajitura razuita or the Grated Cake.
This is another old cake recipe, which most Romanian grandmothers have a recipe for, they are all slightly different but the principle is the same: one simple dough, jam and nuts.
It is a cake made mostly in the winter months, not because its taste fits that season better, but mostly because it is made with ingredients, which were found in the pantry mostly in the winter months during my grandmother's time, ingredients like jam, nuts, and lard.
However, although I make this cake in the winter months as well, the season is not decisive anymore nowadays. And the cake tastes just as good in summer as in winter.
Actually the last time I've made this (last week) I was happy the weather was so nice and the kids could eat their cake in the garden. Why? Well, the cake is pretty crumbly (like the name says) and I was glad to have all the crumbles scattered in the grass where the birds can eat them, rather than in the kitchen where I would have to sweep them away myself later... 🙂
- Originally, this cake is made with lard which people used to have in the pantry after slaughtering a pig shortly before Christmas.
- I've used lard myself in baking many times and I like the tenderness it provides.
- Use leaf lard, high-quality lard from the loin of the pig. It has a neutral taste and that is what you need in baking.
- You can use shortening instead of lard, but from a quality point of view, lard is in all respects superior. But it is not vegetarian, of course.
- Use whatever jam you have and like, I used my beloved Simple Apricot Jam this time but you could also use this Rhubarb Strawberry Jam or the Rhubarb Raspberry Jam.
- Plum jam or plum butter would be particularly delicious as well.
- Walnuts would always be the typical Romanian choice. Walnuts are thriving in Romania and are just so good.
- But you could use hazelnuts or almonds instead. The taste of the cake would change slightly, but they are delicious as well, so no loss there.
- Use a kitchen scale in baking, it guarantees for best results.
- As mentioned above, you can replace lard with shortening.
- There is no need to roll the dough for making the base of the cake. Just press it with your fingers inside the baking dish.
- Freeze the dough needed for the crumble, this way you will be able to grate it over the cake. I use the larger holes of a box grater.
- Make sure that the beaters of the mixer and the bowl you are using are very clean before you beat the egg whites for the filling. If there is any trace of fat you will not be able to beat the egg whites properly.
How to store?
- The apricot jam cake keeps well for about 3 days in an airtight container.
- If refrigerated it will keep for longer.
More cakes with jam:
Apricot Jam Cake (With Crumbles)
- 250 g/ 8.8 oz/ 1 ⅓ cup lard or shortening very soft
- 150 g/ 5.3 oz/ ¾ cups sugar
- 3 eggs divided into egg yolks and egg whites
- 1 whole egg
- 500 g/ 1.1 lb/ 4 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- the egg whites from above
- 150 g/ 5.3 oz/ ¾ cups sugar
- 100 g/ 3.5 oz/ ¾ cup ground walnuts/ hazelnuts/ almonds
- 200 g/ 7 oz/ ⅔ cup apricot jam or any other jam you like
- pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius/ 320 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a baking dish, about 32x22 cm/ 12x9 inches.
- Divide 3 of the eggs. Set the egg whites aside for the filling of the cake.
- Place the lard/shortening, the 3 egg yolks, the remaining whole egg and 150 g/ ¾ cup sugar in a bowl and mix until pale and fluffy.
- Mix the flour and the baking powder together and add them to the egg mixture. Mix until incorporated but don't overdo it. Take about one-third of the dough, wrap it in cling film and place in the freezer until you prepare the rest.
- Break the remaining dough into several pieces, flatten them a bit, and place them into the prepared baking dish. Press them with your hands and fingers until you get an even layer that covers the bottom of the baking dish entirely.
- Clean the beaters of the mixer very thoroughly before beating the egg whites. Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff. Slowly add the remaining 150 g/ 5.3 oz/ ¾ cups sugar and continue beating until the mixture is stiff and glossy.
- Fold in the ground walnuts and the stirred jam. Spread this mixture over the dough layer in the baking dish and level.
- Take the remaining dough out of the freezer and grate it evenly over the cake. Use the coarse shredder on your box grater.
- Bake the cake in the preheated oven for about 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool and cut into squares.
- It keeps well for several days in an airtight container.