Butter a 9 to 10 inch springform pan and line the bottom with
parchment paper. Peel and core the apples. Divide the lemon juice
into two separate bowls. Slice two of the peeled and cored apples
into half inch slices, and toss the apple slices in one bowl of lemon
juice. Dice the other two apples into one third inch cubes. Toss in the
other bowl of lemon juice. Preheat the oven to 350.
Using a grater with large holes, grate the almond paste into the bowl
of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the sugar and
salt and mix until the almond paste is finely broken up. Add the
melted butter, almond extract, and lemon zest, and continue mixing
until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, stopping the mixer and
scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Whisk
together the flour, cornstarch and baking powder in a small bowl. Stir
the dry ingredients into the almond batter mixture by hand, then fold
in the diced apples, along with any lemon juice in the bowl.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Place
the sliced apples in concentric circles on top of the batter, pressing
them in very lightly. Bake the cake until the top is golden brown and a
toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour and
10 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven. Warm the apricot jam in
a small saucepan and brush it over the top while the cake is hot. Let
the cake cool completely, then run a knife around the inside of the
cake pan to release the cake, and remove the sides of the cake pan.
Serving and storage- This cake is so moist, it doesn't require any
accompaniment. However softly whipped cream, perhaps lightly
spiced with cinnamon or allspice and a bit of vanilla or Cognac, would
be welcome. Cinnamon ice cream would be lovely. The cake can be
kept at room temperature for 3 to 4 days. Avoid freezing it, which
could make it soggy.
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