|11 tbsp butter, at room temperature||1 tsp vanilla extract|
|¾ cup granulated sugar||about ⅔ cup whole milk|
|2 large eggs, lightly beaten||1 lb (450 g) cherries, stemmed and pitted|
|2¼ cups self-rising flour, sifted||¼ cup slivered almonds, chopped|
|1 tsp baking powder||confectioners' (powdered) sugar, for dusting (optional)|
|2 cups ground almonds|
Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C). Lightly grease an 8in (20.5cm) round springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. In a bowl, beat together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until pale and creamy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, adding 1 tablespoon of the flour before adding the second egg.
Mix in the remaining flour, baking powder, ground almonds, and vanilla. Stir in ⅓ cup of the milk. The batter should drop easily from the beaters. If the batter is too thick, gradually stir in the remaining milk. Mix in half of the cherries, then scrape the batter into the pan. Scatter with the remaining cherries, and then the almonds.
Bake for 1 hour 30 minutes-1 hour 45 minutes or until golden and firm to the touch. The exact cooking time will depend upon how juicy the cherries are. To test, insert a skewer into the cake-if there is uncooked batter on it, bake 5 minutes longer. If the surface of the cake starts to brown too much before it is fully baked, cover with foil. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Just before serving, release the sides of the springform and dust with confectioners' sugar.
If fresh cherries are not available, use frozen pitted cherries, or a 16oz (425g) can of cherries, drained well.
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