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Serves 6

We call this a pie-cake because it's an appealing cake baked in a pie pan. Just the thing for anyone afraid of pastry. It has only a few ingredients — including almond paste and apples — with very little sugar. Rows of apples cover a flourless batter. Choose a crisp but sweet eating apple such as Honeycrisp, Gala, or Fuji (no need to peel) and set slices overlapping on the batter. Almond paste is available in the baking aisle of most supermarkets.

Butter (for the pan)
6 ounces almond paste
tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 eggs, at room temperature
teaspoon salt
Grated rind of 1 lemon
2 medium apples
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Confectioners sugar (for sprinkling)

1. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch pie pan.

2. Break the almond paste into small pieces. In an electric mixer on low speed, beat the almond paste, add 4 tablespoons of the butter, and beat until the mixture is smooth and there are no lumps, scraping down the sides of the bowl.

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3. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the salt and lemon rind and beat on medium-high for 30 seconds. Transfer the almond mixture to the pan, spreading it evenly.

4. Quarter and core the apples; cut each quarter into 4 wedges. Place the slices, overlapping in a circle, on the almond batter, without letting them touch the edges of the pan. Fill in the center with apples. Brush the top with the remaining 1½ tablespoons butter and sprinkle with granulated sugar.