Almond Lemon Curd Cake for Easter

In California, we get lovely, ripe Meyer lemons starting right after Christmas. I like to do the “squeeze and freeze,” meaning I can use the lemon juice throughout the year, even as Meyer and other lemons stay in season for quite some time.

A simple, beautiful cake for Easter, which would be lovely for a brunch or tea, is this one made of lemon curd and almonds. I follow the recipe pretty exactly, but I reduce the sugar by a few tablespoons, since Meyer lemons, with their orange-scented flavor, are not as tart as regular lemons. You can of course use regular lemons as well. I also omit the almond liqueur from the whipped cream, instead using a splash of vanilla extract, and whip the cream only it’s billowy, not stiff. Give it a whirl!

Recipe below.

Happy Easter, friends!

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Recipe (from NYT Cooking):

Lemon Curd:

  •  Grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 extra-large eggs
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed

Cake:

  • 9 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 cup plus 1 to 2 tablespoons sugar **reduce sugar slightly
  • 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)**use vanilla extract instead

To Prepare:

  • For the curd, combine zest, juice, sugar and eggs in a heatproof bowl, and beat well. Add butter, and place over a saucepan full of simmering water. Cook, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, until mixture thickens into curd, about 5 minutes. Strain into a bowl, and press plastic wrap onto surface to keep skin from forming. Refrigerate until cool, at least 1 1/2 hours.
  • Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9-inch spring-form pan with 1 tablespoon butter, and dust with 1 tablespoon flour, shaking out excess.
  • With an electric mixer, cream the remaining butter and 1 cup sugar together until light and fluffy. Sift together the remaining flour, baking powder and salt, and stir in. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs until they start to foam. Do not overbeat or the cake will be tough. Add eggs and ground almonds to batter, and mix well.
  • Scrape batter into the prepared pan. Drop 8 individual tablespoons lemon curd around perimeter of batter, leaving a 1-inch border, and taking care to space drops evenly. Drop 3 to 4 tablespoons curd into center of batter. Refrigerate remaining curd for another use. Sprinkle cake with toasted almonds and 1 to 2 tablespoons 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. Let cool on rack 10 minutes, then remove sides of pan, and cool completely.
  • Whip cream with almond liqueur. Present cake at table, and offer whipped cream on the side.

 

 

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