Pastel de Alfonso

Lemon, saffron, and olive oil make this something special.


3/4 cup olive oil
1 large lemon, zest from whole lemon and juice from half lemon
1 pinch of saffron
3/4 cup cake flour (not self-rising)
1/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
5 large eggs, separated, reserving 1 white for another use
3/4 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoon powdered sugar
Juice of 1/2 lemon


Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9″ springform pan with some oil, then line bottom with a round of parchment paper. Oil parchment.

Finely grate enough lemon zest to measure 1 1/2 teaspoons and whisk together with flour.  Squeeze lemon and split juice. Use . Add 1/2 pinch of saffron to half lemon juice in one bowl and do the same with the other half  + 2 tablespoons powdered sugar and let sit. You will use it for the glaze.

Beat together yolks and 1/2 cup sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at high speed until thick and pale, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium and add olive oil and  lemon juice/saffron mixture, beating until just combined. Use a wooden spoon to stir in flour mixture until just combined.

Beat egg whites (from 4 eggs) with 1/2 teaspoon salt in another large bowl with cleaned beaters at medium-high speed until foamy, then add 1/4 cup sugar a little at a time, beating, and continue to beat until egg whites just hold soft peaks, about 3 minutes.

Gently fold one third of whites into yolk mixture to lighten, then fold in remaining whites gently but thoroughly.

Transfer batter to springform pan and gently tap against work surface to release air bubbles. Sprinkle top evenly with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar. Bake until puffed and golden and a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center of cake comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Brush on glaze. Cool cake in pan on a rack 10 minutes, then run a thin knife around edge of pan and remove side of pan. Cool cake to room temperature, about 1 1/4 hours.

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