Simple, beautiful, fragrant and beguiling.
6 oz. dried apricots
1 cup cold water
2 cardamom pods, cracked
2 cups almond meal or flour
1/3 cup fine polenta or fine cornmeal
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 cup sugar
6 extra large eggs
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. rosewater
2 tbs. apricot jam
2 1/2 tsp. finely chopped pistachios
Put the apricots in a small saucepan, cover them with cold water and tip in the cracked cardamom pods. Bring to a boil, then let boil for 10 minutes, stirring often, until the pan is just about out of water. Set aside to cool.
Heat the oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of an 8″ round springform tin with parchment paper and grease the sides.
In a food processor, combine the almond meal, polenta, baking powder, sugar, eggs, lemon juice and rosewater. Set aside 5 of the apricots, then add the rest and any liquid left in the pan to the processor. Blitz into a smooth batter.
Spread the batter in the tin and smooth the top. Split the apricots in two and arrange them around the circumference of the tin. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until a tester comes out clean. If the top is getting too brown, top it with foil.
Remove to a wire rack and leave to cool for 10-15 minutes. Brush on the jam, letting the heat of the cake melt it. Sprinkle over the pistachios and leave to cool completely.