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Maggie Beer

Orchard cake 01

Orchard Cake

Orchard cake 01

Step 1: Place the figs, nectarines, apricots and peaches in a bowl with 250 millilitres of the Verjuice and soak for at least one hour.

Step 2: Strain the fruit, reserving the Verjuice, then cut into pieces. Soak the currants in the reserved Verjuice for thirty minutes or more, then drain, again reserving the Verjuice.

Step 3: Preheat the oven to 220C and grease and line a 20 centimetre round cake tin with baking paper.

Step 4: Dry-roast 60 grams of almonds on a baking tray, as well as the 120 grams of almonds and two bitter almonds for the almond paste on a separate baking tray, for 6–8 minutes. Set aside to cool separately. Reset the oven to 180°C.

Step 5: To make the almond paste, blend the almonds and bitter almonds in a food processor, then add the icing sugar and egg yolk to the processor and pulse to form a stiff paste. Set aside.

Step 6: Using a hand-held electric beater, cream the brown sugar and butter until pale and fluffy.

Step 7: Beat in the eggs one at a time, adding a spoonful of flour if the mixture curdles. Fold in the flour, spices, drained fruit, almonds and candied peel. Stir the grated lemon rind into the mixture, along with the remaining Verjuice, to give a soft batter.

Step 8: Spoon half the batter into the prepared tin, then spread the almond paste over the mixture and top it with the remaining batter.

Step 9: Bake for 2 and a half hours or until a fine skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool a little in the tin before turning it out.

Ingredients

  1. 310ml 1 1/4 cup Verjuice
  2. 60g almonds
  3. 180g unsalted butter chopped
  4. 4 eggs
  5. 1/2 tspn cinnamon ground
  6. 1/2 tspn nutmeg ground
  7. 1 lemon rind grated

Almond Paste

  1. 120g 1 1/4 cup almonds
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