For the pasta frolla, combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Rub in the butter until it is absorbed, making sure the mixture remains cool and powdery and does not become pasty. Beat the egg and stir in with a fork. Continue stirring until the dough holds together, then knead it briefly, just until smooth. Shape into a disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate at least 1 hour, or until firm.
While the dough is resting, make the filling. Whisk the eggs with the salt and spices and whisk in the sugar in a stream. Whisk in the almonds and whip the mixture, either with a hand mixer set at medium speed or in a heavy-duty mixer fitted with the whip, until it is very light in color and increased in volume, about 7 or 8 minutes. Whip in the candied orange peel or orange zest.
On a floured surface, roll out the pasta frolla into a
Bake the torta at 350, degrees for 30 to 40 minutes, until the filling is set and the pastry is baked through. Cool in the pan on a rack. Invert the torta onto a platter, remove the pan, replace with another platter, and invert. Replace any sliced almonds that fall off the surface of the torta. Dust lightly with the confectioners’ sugar before serving.
Confectioners’ sugar for finishing
© 1990 Nick Malgieri. All rights reserved.