This must be the ultimate coffee cake. Buttery, dense cake with almonds and a hint of citrus zest, topped with fresh strawberries and preserves then covered in a crunchy, nutty streusel. This is absolutely delicious served plain but its even better served with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream (this way you can eat more!).
If you are a Cypriot you already know “Pasta Flora”, a cake all moms and grandmoms and their mothers baked at some point in their lives. This recipe is a variation of my moms “Pasta Flora” which contains almonds in the cake batter. “Pasta Flora” is very similar to the Italian “Crostata” or the Austrian “Linzer Torte”. It’s basically a cake, topped with strawberry preserves and then decorated with a lattice pattern. The difference here, is that I added fresh strawberries to the preserves and topped the cake with almond streusel.
It might look complicated, but it’s not. It’s entirely done in a food processor.
- 1/2 cup unblanched whole almonds
- 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- zest from half a lemon
- zest from half an orange
- 190 g unsalted butter
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup strawberry preserves
- 120 grams fresh strawberries, sliced
- 1 tsp corn flour
- 1/2 cup unblanched almonds
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar
- ¼ cup flour
- 60 grams unsalted butter
- ½ tsp vanilla
Butter a 22,5 cm (9 inch) cake pan with a removable bottom, line bottom with parchment and then butter that. Preheat oven to 175 C (350 F).
Make the topping. In a food, processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse the almonds with the sugar until almonds are coarsely chopped. Add the vanilla, flour and butter and pulse until mixture holds slightly together. It will look crumbly but should hold together when you pinch it between your fingers. Transfer to a bowl and leave aside until needed.
Make the base. In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, put the almonds with the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugars. Pulse until almonds are chopped finely. Add the zests, butter in pieces and the egg yolks and pulse until just combined and dough can hold together. Put the dough into the prepared pan and push down to cover the base of your pan.
Mix the preserves with the strawberries and the corn flour. Spread mixture over cake batter, leaving a ½ inch border all the way round. Spread the streusel topping on top of the strawberries, pinching the mixture with your fingers as you go along, so as to create small pieces of dough.
Bake cake in preheated oven for 50-55 minutes. Leave in cake pan for five minutes then carefully remove the sides of the cake pan. Leave cake in the pan until it’s completely cool. Then transfer carefully on a platter and serve plain or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Double cream would also do it justice.