Making a torte may seem complicated because the end result is so elegant and delicious. But whipping up this impressive dessert isn't as complicated as it might seem. For the best results, make sure all the baking ingredients have been sitting out at room temperature before you start to cook. The pumpkin gives this torte a rich moist flavor and color without adding any fat and the graham cracker almond base for the cake compliments this fall fruit with a nutty crunch.
Grease and flour the baking pans and then set aside. Process almonds in a food processor bowl until they are finely ground but not oily. Transfer ground almonds to a mixing bowl. Stir in graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and pumpkin pie spice.
Beat the egg yolks and 2/3 cup of the sugar on high speed for five or six minutes. The mixture should be light and frothy. Stir in the pumpkin and vanilla. Fold in the nut and cracker mixture.
Beat the egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form and tips curl begin to curl. Slowly add the remaining 2/3 cup sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form and tips stand straight up. Fold approximately a cup of the egg white mixture into pumpkin mixture. The fold pumpkin mixture into remaining egg white mixture. Divide the resulting batter evenly among the three pans.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or until light brown. Remove from oven and cool on wire racks for 15 minutes. Then remove the cakes from their pans and cool completely in the racks.
Beat the cream cheese, brown sugar, 2 teaspoons vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice with a mixer until light and creamy; beat well. Stir in the dates and applesauce and set the mixture aside.
Whip the cream and 2 teaspoons sugar the mixer on medium speed until stiff peaks form. Set this mixture aside in the refrigerator until it is time to assemble the torte.
Assemble by splitting each cake layer in half horizontally. Place bottom of one split layer on a serving plate and spread with 2/3 cup of the apple-date filling. Repeat with remaining cake layers and filling, ending with top cake layer. Spoon the whipped cream on top layer.