1/2 lb (1-3/4 Cups) blanched whole almonds
6 large eggs, whites and yolks separated
1-1/4 Cups superfine sugar
Grated zest of 1 orange
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp Almond Extract
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
Preheat the oven to 350F. Using the metal blade attachment on a food processor, grind the whole blanched almonds to a fine consistency.
With an electric mixer and the paddle attachment, beat the egg yolks on lowest speed. Slowly add the superfine sugar to the beaten egg yolks, making a smooth pale cream-colored mixture. While the mixer runs, add in the citrus zests and almond extract. Next, add the finely-ground almonds and mix until well-combined.
Take a separate, large clean mixing bowl, and, using the whisk attachment and your mixer, whip the egg whites on the highest speed, until stiff peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the whipped egg whites into the egg-almond mixture and stir gently — not so much as to deflate the egg whites, but enough to incorporate them fully into the thick batter.
Thoroughly grease an 11-inch springform pan with butter and dust lightly with flour. Pour in the cake batter, and bake for 40 minutes, or until the center of the cake feels firm to the touch. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool on a wire cooling rack for at least 30 minutes (or until cool) before carefully turning out onto a serving platter or cake plate.
Just before serving, use a sifter to lightly dust the top of the cake with confectioners’ sugar. If you are serving this cake as a traditional Easter treat, cut a St. James cross out of paper and use it as a stencil. Position the cross stencil in the middle of the cake, dust the cake with powdered sugar, and carefully remove the stencil.