I am so fortunate to have a good friend who is a master baker. Rachel Portnoy, Chez Nous, Lee, MA, shared this recipe with me, and now I am sharing it with you. I love this recipe. Unlike most American cakes that tend to be overly sweet, this torte reminds me of European cakes, which are often just a tad sweet. And each time this recipe is passed down, it changes. This is my adaptation.
Tuscan Lemon Almond TorteRecipe courtesy of Ellen Gutman Chenaux
- 6 oz. lemon juice
- zest of 3 lemons
- 2 ¼ cups sugar
- pinch of salt
- ½ pound of butter
- 4 eggs
- ½ cup almond flour
- 1 cup cake flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 4 teaspoons salt
- 4 oz. soft butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 2/3 cup lemon curd
- 1/3 cup sliced almonds
- powdered sugar
For the Lemon Curd:
Place butter, sugar, salt, lemon juice and zest in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Let the butter melt gently over medium heat and bring it to a simmer.
Whisk the eggs in a medium-sized bowl.
When the mix begins to boil, take the pan off the heat and drizzle a bit into the eggs, whisking quickly.
Once the egg mixture is warm, whisk them back into the saucepan and return the pan to medium heat.
Whisk constantly (it seems to take a year or two) until the mixture comes to a simmer to sterilize the eggs and thicken the curd.
Remove from heat and strain into a heat-proof container. Allow to cool and then refrigerate until you’re ready to use it.
For the Torte:
Preheat oven to 325. Makes one 8 or 9 inch torte.
Using an 8 or 9 inch springform pan, butter the pan, make a circle of parchment paper to fit the bottom, add the parchment paper to the pan and butter the parchment paper.
Note: If you want the torte to be more almond-y, add ¼ teaspoon almond extract to the batter when you add the vanilla, or add a couple of tablespoons of almond paper to the batter before you add the eggs.
Cream the softened butter in a mixer using the flat beater. Add the sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. The mixture should be quite fluffy and doubled in the volume. Add the vanilla to the mixture.
Combine the rest of the dry ingredients and fold into the egg mixture.
Scrape the batter into the pan and spoon the lemon curd on top of the batter, spreading the curd on the top, leaving about a half-inch border. Scatter the almonds over the torte and bake for 25-30 min. (longer if you are using an 8-inch pan), until tester is clean (note – this is a difficult cake to test – you need to get under the curd.)
The cake will set in the middle, with the curd all bubbly and brown. Remove from the oven and cool completely before serving. In fact, the torte is one of those rare cakes that tastes even better after a day or two.