Three friends of mine have asked for this recipe and so I thought I would add it to my blog to have it easily found in the future. This cake is super quick and easy to make, with very little mess. A 9" cast iron frying pan is perfect for baking it. The cake is firm like a pound cake which makes it easy to eat with your fingers. It is wonderful with a cup of tea.
Swedish Visiting Cake
1 cup sugar plus a little more for sprinkling
Grated zest of 1 lemon (I used a Meyer lemon)
2 large eggs
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract (Dorie says it is optional, but I think it is necessary)
1/2 tsp almond extract (optional, I left it out)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 stick (8 tblsp) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
about 1/4 cup sliced almonds (blanched or not)
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Butter a seasoned 9" cast-iron frying pan or other heavy ovenproof skillet, a 9" round cake pan or a pie pan.
Put the sugar into a bowl, add the lemon zest and rub it into the sugar with your fingers until the sugar is moist and aromatic. Whisk in the eggs one at a time until well blended. Whisk in the salt and the extracts if you use them. Switch to a rubber spatula and stir in the flour. Then fold in the melted butter. Put the batter into the baking pan you are using and smooth the top with the spatula. Scatter the almonds on top and then sprinkle with a little sugar. Place the pan on a baking sheet at the middle level of the oven. (I neglected to do this the last time I made it and it didn't seem to make a difference. I was using a cast-iron frying pan and it may be more important if you are using a lighter weight pan.)
Bake the cake 25-30 minutes, until it is golden and a little crisp on the edges. Run a thin knife around the sides to loosen it. You can serve the cake warm or cooled, directly from the pan or on a serving plate. Cut into small wedges and eat it with your fingers. The cake keeps well for up to 5 days and will freeze well if you need to keep it longer