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Pan di Spagna

(by Marcella Cantatore)

5 large eggs, at room temperature

3/4 c. granulated white sugar

1 1/4 c. cake flour, sifted

1 t. vanilla extract

1 t. finely grated lemon zest (or 1/2 t. lemon extract), optional

confectioners’ sugar

whipped cream or mascarpone for serving

Preheat oven to 340 F.

Butter a 9-in. springform cake pan and line the base and sides with parchment.

In an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, beat eggs with sugar at maximum speed for about 15 minutes until frothy and thick.

In the last minute or two, add vanilla extract and optional lemon zest.

Add flour a little at a time using a large metal spoon or rubber spatula.

Take care to incorporate it slowly from the bottom up.

Pour into pan and bake for 25 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center comes clean.

Do not open the oven door during the first 20 minutes of baking.

Leave pan in the oven with the door open for about 5 minutes, then cool completely on a wire rack.

If well wrapped in plastic, it will last 3 - 4 days in the refrigerator, or it can be frozen.

Serve with a dusting of powdered sugar and whipped cream or mascarpone.

(Read Broken English, the story that accompanies this recipe.)

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