Put butter and milk in a small dish and melt in microwave. Cool to luke-warm.
Add warm water (between 100-110°F) to a medium bowl. Note: Water that is too warm will kill the yeast so be careful. Sprinkle yeast and one teaspoon of sugar into water. Whisk until dissolved and let stand for 10 minutes or until bubbly and doubled in volume.
Add remaining 1/2 cup sugar, eggs, salt, lemon peel, cardamom and milk mixture to yeast. Whisk until will mixed.
Add flour, one cup at a time, mixing well between each cup. The dough is done when it pulls away from the side of the bowl and forms a ball.
Turn dough onto a floured work surface. Knead about 4 minutes or until dough feels soft and elastic.
Oil a bowl big enough to allow dough to double in size. Form the dough into a ball and place in bowl, turning once so the top is coated with oil.
Cover bowl with wax paper and a towel. Let rise for one hour or until dough is doubled in size.
Meanwhile, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, or lightly grease it.
Punch down dough. Flour work surface and roll dough into a 10” X 14” rectangle. Transfer to the cookie sheet.
With the back of a knife, mark the dough lengthwise into three long 14” lanes of equal size.
For braiding strips, cut the two outer lanes into angled strips a little more than an inch wide. Tip: kitchen shears are easier for this step than a knife.
Spread the raspberry preserves down the center lane. Slice the Almond Paste into thin coins and lay over the preserves.
Braid the strips one side over the other, covering the raspberry and Almond Paste. Give a gentle pull to keep the braid neat. Cover braid with towel and let rise 40-60 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°F, with rack in middle.
Whisk egg white with 1 teaspoon water and brush onto braid. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown and braid sounds hollow when tapped.