Truly one of the best cakes – my family loves loves loves this.  Rob said “every little bite has great flavor.  Sylvie said, ” It’s fanmazing!!” and the boys agree.   A hit with friends too – Amy said, “you will put this on the blog, right?”   This cake is moist and delicious – a melt in your mouth kind of cake.  This weekend my in-laws visited and I remembered that they too enjoyed it years ago – so a perfect time to bake, for them and for the blog.  This recipe is from Flo Braker again – her cookbooks are a joy and pleasure to read.  This cake is lovely for brunch or after dinner – really can go both ways, all ways.  Bring as a gift as it presents so well with the sparkly citrus glaze.  Do not freeze as the glaze breaks down.  But know that the cake is as good on day five as it was on day one.  Still so moist and flavorful.  Enjoy-

(You can find almond paste in your supermarket.  Usually top shelf in baking isle.)

crystal almond pound cake w/citrus glaze (from The Simple Art of Perfect Baking by Flo Braker):

3/4 cup (75 grams) sifted cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lemon zest (from one lemon)
1 teaspoon orange zest (from one orange)
5 large eggs, room temp
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
7 ounces (3/4) cup almond paste (not marzipan), room temp
1 cup sugar
2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter, room temp

citrus glaze

3 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons orange juice
3/4 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350 and place baking rack in lower third of oven.  Find an 8 1/2 inch tube pan or other 7-8 cup decorative baking pan.

Grease the bottom and sides of pan generously (this one can stick) with shortening (Flo recs this), although I used butter and then dust (either way) with flour.

If you have a scale it is best to weigh the flour in this recipe so that you don’t have to sift and measure.  But if not, sift and measure flour.  Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

Grate the lemon and orange and collect zest (do not grate the white part, the pith, as it is bitter) – and set aside.  Gently mix together the eggs and vanilla.

With the paddle attachment of you mixer – beat the almond past on low speed to break it up.  Then slowly (on lowest speed) add the sugar in a steady stream, and beat until incorporated.  Go carefully here if you mix too fast, the almond paste will jump out of the bowl.

Continue on medium low speed and add the butter by tablespoon – taking about a minute in total.  Increase the speed to medium and cream the mixture for about 3 minutes.  Scrape down the bowl and mix another minute or two until it is lighter and fluffier.

On medium speed, add the eggs, little by little – and let each bit get absorbed before you add the next.  If at any time the ingredients look watery or shiny, stop adding the egg and mix again until the batter is smooth again.  Resume with eggs.  Scrape the bowl and mix again for 1-3 minutes.

Remove from mixer and mix in the lemon and orange zest.  Then gently fold in the flour mixture about 1/2 at a time.  Pour into prepared pans and bake for about 44–50 minutes or until the sides begin to pull away from pan and the cake springs back lightly when touched – and or when the toothpick comes out just clean.

Let cake cool on rack for 5-7 minutes.

Make the glaze.  Mix together the lemon and orange juice and the 3/4 cup sugar and stir to blend.

Invert cake and position it on a cooling rack over a sheet of foil or parchment (to catch the drips).  Brush the entire surface of the warm cake with all of the glaze.

Let the cake cool for 3-4 hours – so the glaze can set and serve at room temp and do not refrigerate or freeze.


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