This is a simple recipe that really lets you get your hands dirty. It starts with a mixture of ground almonds, cornmeal, flour, sugar, and lemon peel. Then egg yolks are mixed in with your fingers until small pellets are formed. A stick of butter is softened and then blended in, again using your hands, until everything is evenly mixed and holds loosely together. This is then crumbled into a buttered 12 inch cake pan and then baked for 40 minutes. I didn’t have a 12 inch pan so I substituted a 10 inch springform pan, which worked great. I cut this about 5 minutes after it came out of the oven, because I wanted nice even pieces. You have to cut it when it is warm, or it will break into irregular pieces when it is cold.
This smelled great while it was cooking, so waiting for it to cool completely was torture. Its texture and taste reminded me of a scone, with a little extra crunchiness from the cornmeal. This recipe is listed in the dessert chapter, but for our house it should be listed in the breakfast chapter. Michael has developed the habit, which was handed down by his Grandmother, of eating light flavored biscotti or cookies with his coffee in the morning. I can always tell when we have those in the house, because his coffee cup ends up with a layer of crumbs in the bottom. I suspect that tomorrow morning the cup will have its fair share of evidence waiting for me to find when I load the dishwasher. I’m sure this recipe will become his new favorite to dunk. I have a feeling that I will be getting my hands dirty repeating this recipe a lot in the future.