I brought this cake to a birthday party as a dessert and disappeared instantaneously. One satisfied admirer best quipped it as, “it’s the best soft biscotti with an added lemony meringue zing to it!”
Composed of one of the best trinity of mixtures: lemons, almonds, and butter — garners it with its concurrent over a thousand votes of 5 stars!
What is best about this recipe is that the ingredients are relatively easy to find and may already be in your pantry.
I followed the recipe as described in the NYT’s recipe, except with a few minor changes in the ingredients and some editing on the preparation.
FOR THE LEMON CURD:
- Grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
- ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 4 extra-large eggs
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
FOR THE CAKE:
- 9 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 cup plus 1 to 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 extra-large eggs
- ½ cup ground toasted almonds
- 2 tablespoons toasted sliced almonds
- About 1/2 cup heavy cream for garnish
- 1 tablespoon almond liqueur(optional)
PREPARATION — Lemon Curd
- In a heatproof bowl, combine lemon zest, juice, sugar, and eggs, then beat well. Add the butter, one tablespoon at a time. (I reduced the sugar to 1/2 a cup as I like a more lemony taste)
- Place the heatproof bowl over a saucepan full of simmering water.
- Stir constantly with a rubber or wooden spoon until mixture thickens. It is best to go by the consistency rather than time. It took me about 20 minutes to get it into a curd-like consistency.
- Strain the curd into a bowl, and cover with a plastic wrap onto surface to prevent skin from forming (dried curd). Cool the covered container in the refrigerator for at least 1 1/2 hours.
PREPARATION — Batter
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch spring-form pan with 1 tablespoon butter, and dust with 1 tablespoon almond flour, shaking out excess.
- With an electric mixer, cream the remaining butter and 2/3 cups sugar together until light and fluffy. Sift together the remaining flour, baking powder, and salt, then stir the dry mixture in.
- In a separate bowl, whisk eggs with a fork until they start to foam. Do not overbeat or the cake will be dense. Add eggs and ground almonds to the batter, mix them well.
- Scrape the thick batter into the prepared pan. Use a spatula to ensure an even distribution of the batter in the pan.
- Drop a generous tablespoon of the lemon curd around the perimeter of batter, leaving an inch away from the border of the pan, provide the same distance to the next drop. Continue to do this circularly inward, with one big dollop at the center. (I used all the curd)
- Sprinkle the batter and curd with toasted almonds and about 1 tablespoon of sugar, depending on taste.
- Bake until cake is toasty brown on top and a toothpick inserted into cake (not curd) comes out clean, about 40 minutes.
- Cool on rack, then remove sides of the pan and cool completely.
- Optional: Whip cream with almond liqueur on the side.
Reduce excess sugar! Take heed of using less sugar in recipes as this not only adds empty calories to desserts, cakes and the sundry. The increase in sugar intake causes inflammation — the precursor process to diseases like breast cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Take caution with using too much sugar and adjust to lower them at all times.