Sour Cherry Cake
SOUR CHERRY CAKE
1 pound sour cherries
4 ounces blanched almonds
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
3 large eggs, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons almond extract
Place the oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375°F. Butter a 9” round cake pan, line the bottom with parchment, butter the paper, and flour the pan. Pit the cherries over a bowl to catch any juice. Set aside. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Grind the almonds fine with a nut grinder or a rotary cheese grater and add to the dry ingredients (for more texture, process the nuts in a food processor with the flour before adding the baking powder and salt).
With an electric mixer, cream the butter with 3/4 cup sugar on medium high speed until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. On low speed, add the flour in 2 or 3 additions, beating after each addition just until combined. Add the vanilla and almond extracts along with all of the juice from the cherries and mix until blended (the batter will be stiff). Set aside.
In another bowl, with clean beaters, beat the egg whites until they begin to mound. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar and beat until they hold soft peaks. Stir one-quarter of the egg whites into the batter to lighten it. Fold in the remaining egg whites. Scrape the batter into the pan and strew the cherries evenly over the top, pressing them into the batter. Bake the cake until golden brown and a tester comes out clean, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool for 10 minutes. Turn the cake out of the pan and cool, top side up. If desired, dust with confectioners sugar before serving.