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Lemon Cake
Lemon Cake
(Torta di Limoni)
 
 
Ingredients:
 
For the Cake:
1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
4 large eggs
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Pastry Cream:
2 cups milk
6 large egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
 
Directions:
 
Preheat the over to 325 F.
 
Butter a 9-inch spring form pan and lightly dust with flour.
 
Combine the flour with 1/2 cup of the sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks, olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla extract until it reaches a smooth consistency.
 
Gradually add the flour mixture and evenly combine the ingredients.

In a medium-sized bowl whisk the egg whites until they foam, then slowly add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and continue beating the eggs until they are stiff and form peaks.
 
Gently fold the egg whites into the flour-egg yolk mixture, gradually a little at a time until evenly combined. 
 
Place the batter in the spring form pan, then level the top with a spatula and bake in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, begin preparing the pastry cream by scalding the milk in a small saucepan and bring it almost to a boiling point, then set aside.

In a saucepan, combine the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla extract and vigorously whisk until the eggs stiffen enough to form small peaks.
 
Gradually sift and whisk the flour into the egg yolks until well combined.

Add the warm milk to the flour-egg mixture, then place the saucepan over low heat and continue whisking until it becomes a smooth cream.
 
Cook the cream for a few minutes and gently stir until it begins to bubble and has thickened. Be careful not to burn the cream.
 
Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter and lemon zest. 
 
Transfer the cream to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let it cool to room temperature.

Check the center of the cake with a toothpick for doneness, then remove it from the oven and cool on a rack.

After the cake is thoroughly cool, carefully open and remove the spring form and place the cake on a plate.
 
With a thin, sharp knife, cut the cake into two disks and place the upper disk of cake topside up, on parchment paper. 
 
Spread the cooled pastry cream over the bottom half of the cake with a rubber spatula.
 
Carefully pick up the top half of the cake from the bottom of the parchment paper and slide it into position on top of the pastry cream.
 
Refrigerate the cake for at least an hour.

Liberally dust the top of the cake with powdered sugar when ready to serve.

That's it!
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