I have done more baking in the past few weeks than I have done in the past year and rather than satisfying my sweet tooth I have managed to stir up my taste for sweets to the point where I feel deprived if I don’t have something freshly baked sitting on the kitchen counter. This recipe has been on my “Recipes I Must Try” board on Pinterest for several months and I finally gave in to temptation and made it. I love lemon desserts, lemon bars in particular, and this recipe looked like a fancier version of one of our favorite cookies ~ lemon curd baked on top of a dense, buttery pastry. One of the many wonderful things about Pinterest is that I have found some great new blogs to visit that I probably wouldn’t have otherwise discovered. This recipe was posted by The Traveler’s Lunchbox and I hope you will stop by for a visit.
Wow, that photo isn’t terribly attractive is it? I didn’t place each almond slice on the top of the cake but should have taken a bit more time than I gave it. The lemon curd puffed up during baking and what symmetry there was to the almonds completely disappeared by the time it had cooled down. Oh well, next time I’ll pay more attention to details. I cut the cake when it was cool and refrigerated what was left. I thought the texture and flavor were actually better the next day after it had a chance to mellow. I cooked the torta for 35 minutes and will give it another 5-7 minutes the next time I make it. The center was a little too soft, but that didn’t affect the yummy flavors one bit. If you make this torta forget about the parchment paper. It isn’t needed and is hard to peel off the delicate cake.
- FOR THE LEMON CURD:
- ¾ cup (150g) sugar
- 3 large eggs
- Juice (1/2 cup/125 ml) and grated zest from 2 large lemons
- 4 tablespoons (60g) unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
- FOR THE TORTA:
- ⅔ cup (60g) sliced almonds
- ½ cup (75g) blanched almonds, lightly toasted
- 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons (115g) unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
- 1 cup (200g) sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- icing/confectioner's sugar for dusting cake
- TO MAKE THE LEMON CURD:
- In a non-corrosive heavy saucepan combine sugar, eggs, lemon juice and zest. Whisk until thoroughly blended. Add the butter. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly for 3 to 5 minutes, or until mixture thickens. Don't let it boil! Transfer the curd to a bowl, cover the surface with plastic wrap and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- TO MAKE THE TORTA:
- Preheat oven to 350F. Generously butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch round springform pan. Line the bottom of the pan with a circle of baking parchment. Gently press about half of the sliced almonds against the side of the pan, adhering them about ⅔ of the way up from the bottom.
- In the food processor combine the whole toasted almonds, flour, baking powder and salt. Process for 10-20 seconds, until finely chopped. In a small bowl, beat the eggs lightly with a fork until frothy.
- In a large mixer bowl beat the butter for 30 seconds, until creamy. Gradually add sugar and continue beating for 2-3 minutes, until light in texture and almost white in color. Beat in vanilla and almond extracts.
- Using a rubber spatula, fold the almond/flour mixture into the butter mixture until blended (the batter will be stiff). Stir in the beaten eggs just until smooth. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread it into an even layer with the back of a spoon. Spread lemon curd evenly on top of the batter to about ½-inch from the side of the pan. Sprinkle the remaining sliced almonds over the top of the batter. Lightly dust with confectioners' sugar.
- Bake the torta for 30-35 minutes until the cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it. Cool the torta completely in the pan set on a wire rack. Run a thin-bladed knife around the edge of the torta to loosen it from the side of the pan before removing. Peel off the baking paper and dust the torta with more confectioners' sugar before serving. Serve at room temperature.
This post is linked to Foodie Friday at Rattlebridge Farm (formerly Designs by Gollum)
and On the Menu Monday at StoneGable (I’m so happy you are back, Yvonne. You were missed)