It’s citrus season here in Northern California, and orange and lemon trees are heavy with fruit. We picked our Myer lemon trees (see them bowing down under the weight of all their fruit above) a few weeks ago. I am always looking for new recipes to use them in, and then I found Nigella Lawson’s Damp Lemon and Almond Cake from her How to Be a Domestic Goddess cookbook and I knew I found my nirvana of flavor combination. Almonds? Oh yes. As a kid, I used to walk miles to a candy store that carried marzipan. And I love the fresh, biting sweetness of lemon. Together they are so surprisingly nice. The cake is not too sweet, and very, very moist.
The recipe is so easy, I hope you’ll try it and let me know what you think.
A few links from the web you might enjoy:
Ridiculously obscure fun facts.
Top 10 movies of 2015 by a Slate reviewer I really admire.
Nurturing long-term loving relationships.
I’m still obsessing over the Oscar outfits, and here’s a look at the least boring among them.
A palliative care doctor’s thank you letter to David Bowie.
I never get tired of hearing Man of Constant Sorrow.
Great list of 15 Things I Learned in My Fifties.
A pilot’s-eye view of life in the sky.
Here in Sonoma, we have been getting loads of much needed rain, and flowers are blooming everywhere (including our camellias, below). They are predicting more rain on the way. Hope you have a wonderful week!
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 1/3 cup ground almonds
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 2 lemons grated zest and juice
- 8-inch springform pan lined on the bottom with parchment or wax paper.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cream together the butter sugar until almost white. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, adding a quarter of the flour after each addition. When all the eggs and flour have been incorporated, gently stir in the ground almonds, then the almond extract, lemon zest and juice. Pour the mixture into cake pan and bake for about one hour. (Ovens vary so widely, the cake may be done after 50 minutes, or it may take as long as an hour and 10 minutes.) After about 30 minutes you may need to cover the cake with foil to prevent it the top from burning.
- The cake is ready when the top is firm and a toothpick comes out cleanish. The cake will be damp, but not battery goop. Take the cake out and let it stand for 5 minutes or so in the pan. Turn the cake out on a wire rack and allow it to cool.
- Then, wrap the cake in tin foil and leave it for a couple of days. Push some powdered sugar over the cake through a fine sieve when serving.
Ligeia, That cake sounds delectable! Can’t wait to try it.
Erin – It is so easy! Another reader wrote me and said she served it with whipped cream with a touch of lemon marmalade. I am going to try that next time I make it. Let me know what you think. XO
Ligeia — Not only was the cake easy to make, it made a perfect dinner party dessert because you make it a day or two in advance leaving you to other tasks the day of your gathering. The texture was dense and not crumbly so it sliced beautifully and didn’t fall apart. It looked rather plain and unassuming, but the group I served it to swooned at first bite. I used a Eureka-style lemon, not Meyer, for extra lemony punch. I did dust it with powdered sugar for the initial presentation, then topped it with a big dollop of my homemade Meyer Lemon Jam which had been added to lightly sweetened whipped cream. Can’t wait to make it again…that recipe is a real “keeper”!