Vintage Almond Lemon Cake

A unique mix of flavors, this cake combines the sweet nuttiness of almond cake with a tart lemon custard. While the recipe is fairly in-depth and involved, the finished product is so delicious that it is well worth the extra effort.

Cake Ingredients:

7 ounces almond paste

10 tablespoons margarine or butter

½ cup granulated sugar

4 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 and ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

3 eggs

1 and ¼ cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

Lemon Custard Ingredients:

1 cup skim milk

2 tablespoons lemon zest (approximately 2 lemons)

½ cup granulated sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

3 egg yolks

3 tablespoons cornstarch

½ cup lemon juice (approximately 3 lemons)

2 tablespoons margarine or butter

1)   Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter an 11 by 2 inch round cake pan and place a sheet of parchment on the bottom.

2)   Begin by preparing the almond cake. Soften the butter and almond paste by heating them both in a microwave-safe container for 30 seconds on medium power.

3)   In a large bowl, cream together the softened butter and almond paste, granulated sugar, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract with a mixer. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Set aside for later.

4)   In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add half of this mixture to the butter almond mixture and mix until combined. Add the remaining flour and mix until well combined. The finalized cake batter should be thick enough to make into peaks but still fairly soft.

5)   Spread the batter evenly in the cake pan and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown on the edges and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

6)   Once the cake has finished baking, allow it to cool in its pan for 20 minutes. Then remove it carefully and cool for an additional 40 minutes.

7)   While the cake is cooling, prepare the lemon custard. Whisk together the milk, salt, and ¼ cup of the granulated sugar and warm the mixture over medium heat.

8)   Meanwhile, combine the egg yolks, cornstarch, remaining ¼ cup granulated sugar, and lemon juice in a separate container.

9)   Add part of the hot milk mixture to the egg yolk and cornstarch mixture and whisk thoroughly to ensure that the cornstarch does not clump. Add this mixture back to the stovetop mixture.

10)  Continue stirring this mixture over medium heat with a flat-bottomed spatula, scraping the bottom of the pan to prevent scorching. Bring the mixture to a boil and then stop heating. Cut the butter into small pieces and add them to the mixture, stirring them to a melt.

11)  Immediately remove the custard from the pan and chill it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Once the cake is completely cooled, spread the lemon custard evenly on the top with a spatula. Chill the entire cake for at least 30 minutes and serve chilled or at room temperature. Enjoy!

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