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Lemony almond & apricot cake
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100g ground almonds
40g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp fine salt
225g unsalted butter, softened
225g golden caster sugar
3 large eggs
1 unwaxed lemon, zest and juice
6 ripe apricots, halved
Greek yogurt or crème fraîche, to serve
3 lemons, juice
75g caster sugar
4 cardamom pods, bruised
1 tsp orange flower water (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC, gas mark 4. Line the base and sides of a 20cm x 25cm cake tin with baking parchment. Put the semolina, ground almonds, flour, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl; whisk gently to combine.
2. In a second, large bowl, using electric beaters, beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy and light. Beat in the eggs, one by one, then the lemon zest. Fold in the dry ingredients using a spatula or metal spoon, finishing with the lemon juice. Spoon the thick batter into the tin and smooth the top. Arrange the apricot halves evenly on top, cut-side down, and bake in the centre of the oven for 45 minutes, or until risen, firm and golden. Cover the cake with foil after 30 minutes if it is browning too quickly.
3. Meanwhile, make the syrup. Put the lemon juice in a jug; add enough water to make 175ml. Pour into a small saucepan with the sugar and cardamom. Put over a low heat to dissolve the sugar, stirring occasionally, then bring to the boil. Raise the heat to high and reduce for about 4 minutes, without stirring. It should be the consistency of maple syrup and will thicken more as it cools. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then strain to remove the cardamom; stir in the orange flower water, if using. Pour over the cake in its tin; leave to cool for 20-30 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Serve with Greek yogurt or crème fraîche.
This recipe was first published in July 2021.