The south of Italy is widely known by their almond desserts and this is one of their typical cakes.
Its dry ingredients are only ground blanched almonds and fine corn flour, so a great gluten-free cake.
This cake recipe comes from the Amalfi Coast in the south west of Italy.
This region of Italy is both rich in almonds and lemons, mainly their famous "Sfusato Amalfitano" lemon.
The lemon tree, native to India, arrived in the South of Europe through the Arabs who, during their conquests in the 14th and 15th Century, introduced this citrus in Sicily and in the south of Italy.
The almond tree, native to Central Asia, was brought to Italy by the Greeks around the 5th Century B.C.. It's in Sicily, mainly in the Agrigento region, that exist the best and most perfumed almonds of Italy.
This cake is made with ground blanched almonds so that the cake comes out perfectly white and you can see the specs of yellow from the lemon. But, if you would rather use almonds with the skin on, go ahead and use almond meal!
—Maria Teresa Jorge
Grease a 9 inch / 22cm diameter pan. Line the bottom with grease proof paper and grease the paper with butter. Dust the bottom and sides with fine corn flour, tapping out any excess flour.
Pre-heat the oven to 325º F / 160º C / Gas 3 with rack in the middle.
Zest both lemons and juice only one lemon.
Sift together the corn flour, almond flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
In an electric mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the sugar with the lemon zest for 1 minute to release the flavour and oils of the lemon zest.
Add the butter and beat for another 8 minutes until light and fluffy.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, beating 2 minutes between each addition.
Add the lemon juice of one of the lemons and beat to incorporate.
Fold in by hand, with a rubber spatula, the flour mixture, in three parts, mixing as little as possible.
Pour the cake mixture in the pan and bake until cooked and golden brown. Use a toothpick or cake tester and insert in the centre of the cake - when it comes out clean (a few crumbs is ok), the cake should be done.
Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 5 minutes on a cooling rack. Remove the pan and the greaseproof paper and cool completely on a cooling rack.