3/4 cup sugar 1/2 cup glace cherries
1 tsp. Minced, fresh lemon verbena leaves 1/4 cup chopped candied citrus peel
3/4 cup unsalted butter 1 cup currants
3 eggs beaten 1/2 cup white raisins
1 cup unbleached white flour 1 lb. Almond paste
1/2 tsp. Nutmeg 1 egg, beaten for browning the cake’s top
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon Milk for thinning
Optional: red and white carnations for decorating the top

Preheat the oven to 300° F.

In mini-food processor, blend sugar and lemon verbena until very fine. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the eggs slowly. Fold in the flour and spices. Add the fruit and fold in. Add a little milk if the batter is too stiff. Butter and dust with flour a 7-inch round cake pan. Roll a third of the almond paste into a circle the size of the cake pan. Spoon half of the cake batter into the cake pan. Place the almond paste circle on top of the cake mixture. Then add the rest of the cake batter. Bake for about 2 hours, or until brown and firm. (Check after an hour; if the top is getting too brown, cover with foil.) Cool the cake for ten minutes and turn it out onto a cake rack. Let cool completely. Roll half of the remaining almond paste into an 8-inch circle. Place the circle on top of the cake and crimp the edges to create a scalloped edging. Use a sharp knife to make a cross pattern on the almond paste. Shape the remaining paste into 11 balls (tradition says that these represent the 11 apostles – minus Judas). Brush the cake top with the remaining beaten egg and then place the balls around the outside edge. Brush the tops of the balls with the rest of the egg. Brown the cake quickly under the broiler until golden. Decorate the top with carnations.

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