How to make it

  • Combine first 5 ingredients in heavy large saucepan.
  • Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves and syrup comes to simmer.
  • Using slotted spoon transfer berries to small bowl.
  • Add half of apple slices to simmering syrup and cook 12 minutes.
  • Using slotted spoon transfer apples to sieve set over large bowl.
  • Press apples to extract excess syrup then reserve syrup.
  • Transfer apples to another bowl and repeat cooking and draining with remaining apples.
  • Return berries and drained syrup to same saucepan.
  • Boil syrup until thickened and reduced to 1-2/3 cups about 5 minutes.
  • Transfer blackberry sauce to small bowl then cover and refrigerate.
  • Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350 then coat spring form with butter.
  • Crumble cake onto baking sheet then bake 15 minutes and cool but maintain oven temperature.
  • Finely grind crumbled cake in processor then sprinkle 1/3 of cake crumbs in bottom of pan.
  • Sprinkle 2/3 cup almonds over top then sprinkle 1/3 of macaroons over then half the apple slices.
  • Mix apricot preserves and brandy in small bowl then spread half of apricot mixture over apples.
  • Repeat layering with half of remaining crumbs, almonds, macaroons and butter.
  • Press top firmly to compact cake then place cake on baking sheet.
  • Bake 45 minutes until top is golden covering loosely with foil for last 15 minutes.
  • Transfer cake to rack then press top firmly to compact cake.
  • Cool cake in pan on rack then cover and chill overnight.
  • Run small sharp knife around sides of pan to loosen cake then release pan sides.
  • Whip cream and 3 tablespoons sugar to firm peaks then spread over top and sides of cake.
  • Press additional almond slices onto sides of cake then refrigerate at least 1 hour.
  • Cut cake into wedges then spoon reserved blackberry sauce over top.

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