Apple Almond Cake

As a stocking stuffer last Christmas we gave my daughter a tube of Odense Marzipan paste. While home on spring break, she decided to make a cake with it. Her friend, Sien, came over to help. The kitchen smelled great! The cake was dense and moist and delicious. It didn't last long.

Apple Almond Cake
Serves 12- makes a 9" cake

Use Cup4Cup for a gluten-free version.

6 small tart apples
juice of 1 lemon
7 ounces almond paste, frozen for easier grating
1/4 tsp salt
14 Tblsp butter, melted and cooled, plus more for the pan
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp almond extract
4 eggs
1 1/4 cup flour, minus 1 Tblsp (use Cup4Cup for a gluten-free version)
9 1/2 Tblsp cornstarch
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup apricot jam 

Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with a circle of parchment paper and butter the sides of the pan.

Peel, halve, and core 3 of the apples, and cut each half into 6 even slices. Toss the apple slices with half of the lemon juice and set aside.

Peel, halve, and core the remaining apples, and then cut into 1/3-inch. Toss with the remaining lemon juice and set aside.

Grate the almond paste and place it in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater attachment. Add the salt and melted butter; beat for 1 to 2 minutes, until smooth. Then beat in the sugar and almond extract. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating for 30 seconds after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, and baking powder. Beat into the almond batter, and then fold in the diced apples. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Distribute the sliced apples decoratively in concentric rings on the top of the cake. Then, using the flat of your hand, gently push the apples into the batter; they should not be submerged, but rather lightly anchored.

Place the pan in the oven and bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a tester inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Remove the pan from the oven and place on a rack to cool.

Immediately heat the apricot jam over medium-high heat until just bubbling. Brush a thin layer of the hot jam over the still-hot cake. Let cool completely before removing the springform ring. The cake will keep at room temperature in a cake cover for several days.