Chef Mario Batali's recipe for Walnut Sbrisolona With Blackberries.

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Makes 8 to 10 servings


2 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted, divided

8 ounces chopped walnuts

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2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 cup finely ground cornmeal

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Grated zest of 1 lemon

3 egg yolks

Blackberry sauce:

3 pints fresh blackberries

Juice of 1 lemon

1 cup sugar

Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting (optional)

1 pint heavy cream

1. Make the cake: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. Butter the sides and bottom of an 11-inch round cake pan with 2 tablespoons of the melted butter. Cut two strips of parchment paper about 20 inches long and 4 inches wide. Arrange the strips in an X over the bottom of the pan, with the ends hanging over the edges. (These will help to unmold the cake later.)

3. Combine the walnut pieces, flour, cornmeal and sugar in a food processor and pulse until the texture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Turn the machine off and add the vanilla, lemon zest, egg yolks and remaining 1/4 cup melted butter. Pulse six times for 3 seconds at a time. It will form a dough that looks like sticky wet sand.

4. Spoon the “wet sand” into the prepared cake pan as evenly as possible. (It will not look like cake batter, but it will come together as it cooks.) Place the pan in the oven and bake the cake for 1 hour. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack.

5. Meanwhile, make the blackberry sauce: Combine the blackberries, lemon juice and sugar in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until the blackberries break down and form a sauce. Let the sauce cool to room temperature.

6. Lift the cooled cake out of the pan with the help of the parchment strips and place it on a serving plate. Dust it with confectioners’ sugar, if using.

7. Whip the cream in a cold bowl until it forms frosted peaks, and put into a nice serving bowl.

8. Serve the cake in wedges, with the blackberry sauce and softly whipped cream on the side.

From Molto Mario by Mario Batali

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