Meyer Lemon Cake

Himself came home from work one day a week ago. Said his co-worker brought some lemons from his tree, because at this time of year in the desert, citrus is the currency that zucchini enjoys in the summer. As in, here’s-a-bag-of-it-dear-god-please-take-some-now-I-can’t-fit-any-more-in-my-fridge. When I got near the bag, I could smell them. No, it couldn’t be. I opened the bag, and yup. Sure as shit, there in their incredibly fragrant, golden finery – a bag of Meyer lemons.

What treasure! “Those are Meyer lemons!” I exclaimed, disbelieving my good fortune. “What?” He responded. “What, is that special or something?” Sigh. But I do love him, Pa. And they are so very special. Super fragrant, thin-skinned, super juicy. YUM!

Then that begs the question, how to use them best? I scoured the interwebs, asked my friends. And finally decided on a lemon cake. This is a meyer lemon adaptation of Ina’s lemon cake.

At the first bite, you will not believe this is made with AP and not cake flour. It has a lovely, fine crumb. You really must make this. It is amazeballs.

Meyer Lemon Cake
Cake:
2 sticks butter
2 c. sugar
zest and juice of 4 Meyer lemons
2 c. AP flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp. salt
4 eggs
¾ c. buttermilk or plain yogurt
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Glaze:
½ c. lemon juice
½ c. sugar

Garnish:
Pearl sugar

Preheat oven to 350*, grease and flour two 8” loaf pans, then line them with parchment.
Whip the butter with the paddle attachment on your mixture until it is smooth. Add in the dry (sugar, flour, leavening, salt, zest). Mix on medium until it looks like damp sand. Add the eggs, vanilla, buttermilk, and ¼ c. of the lemon juice. Mix again on medium, then high for about a minute or two until it lightens in color and looks almost fluffy. Divvy it up between the pans, then give each a good whack to get rid of any big bubbles before baking.
Bake 50-ish minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.Once the cakes come out of the oven, make the glaze (either stove top, or in the microwave.) I zap the lemon juice and sugar 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until clear. While the cakes are still warmish, take them out of the pan and set them on a cooling rack with a cookie tray underneath. Brush the warm glaze on the cake in several passes, waiting for it to absorb one pass before doing the next. After the last pass, sprinkle with the pearl sugar. Let cool, then slice and consume.

Shaved Squash Salad with Lemon Shallot Vinagrette

ShavedSquash3
I’m ready for something light. The comfort foods of cooler weather just seem heavy and unappetizing now that the days are longer and the sun is shining. Well, that plus the candy fest that seems to run from St. Valentine’s day through Easter. Ugh. No more sugar. Please.
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Shaved squash is all the foodie rage of late, and at first I thought, “uh – no.” But then I tried it. I must confess, it’s tasty. It is actually tender-crisp, mild, and ever so slightly sweet. And with some lemon? YUM! So today’s salad is a super light, marvelously crunchy concoction – it would be great as a big lunch salad, or as a side to some grilled chicken, fish, or tofu.
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There is so much crunchiness going on – the tender crisp of the squash, the moist snap of the celery, the toasted earthy crunch of the toasted walnuts. Combined with the freshness of parsley and lemon, and the tangy creaminess of some fresh goat cheese and you are going to be so happy you made this!
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Shaved Squash Salad with Lemon Shallot Vinagrette
Serves 2 as a side, or one for lunch
Ingredients:
1 c. walnuts, toasted
1 thin zucchini, shaved in to strips.
2 stalks celery, sliced thin at an angle
½ shallot, minced
2 oz. chèvre
¼ c parsley, minced
Zest & juice of half lemon (about 2 Tbsp. juice)
¼ c. (or so) good olive oil
salt & pepper
For the walnuts:
These must be toasted. Heat the oven to 400*. Put the walnut halves on a baking sheet. Put it in the hot oven, and turn the heat off. Remove from the oven after 5 minutes (you should smell toasty nuts.) If they don’t smell toasty, leave them a few minutes more. Let them cool.
For the dressing:
Combine lemon juice, zest, mustard and shallot in a bowl. Whisk these with some salt & pepper until homogenous. Then, whisk in the olive oil just until it emulsifies.
For the salad:
Plate this just before eating it. Arrange the celery, then the squash, parsley,nuts and use a spoon to make little dollops of goat cheese. This might look pretty done Cobb-style with each ingredient in its own row, but I haven’t tried that. Drizzle with the dressing and enjoy!

Ciambella

Ciambella3
So, we were fast approaching the day when all are Irish. I made soda bread for the first time last year, and it was not anything like I’d expected. It was like a giant scone that you slice. So, since I have that other blog deal now, I did the Irish for that. But that made me think about ciambella – an Italian breakfast cake. Lemony, not too sweet. A little dry so you can schmear it with yummy jam or dip it in your cappucino. It’s like Italian soda bread, really.
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What do I love most about this? The rich buttery taste? The crunchy pearl sugar? The soft, lemony insides? I can never decide. But a hunk of this with some strawberry jam, and I am one happy, crumb-covered monster. This would be amazing with some whipped cream, too. I keep wanting to try it with orange. Or grapefruit. But hey – it’s citrus season. Maybe I’ll do that one next time.

This is an adaptation of a recipe from Mario Batali, and the freaking genius uses a food processer.
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I know I’ve been away. I took hiaitus through mid-February. When I tried to come back, I discovered the dark, seedy underbelly of having a blog. My site had been corrupted by some dickweed embedding some malicious code. Hacked through a vulnerability in my theme, and possibly through the recipe plug-in I’d been using. The Yum was flagged. I couldn’t even get in – we tried many different ways over a couple of weeks, but in the end the bastard had us beat. We had to pay our hosting site a fee (that we call a ransom) to remove it. I’m still pissed – feeling that violated, and unable to do anything was beyond maddening. Sooo….yeah. That’s where I’ve been. It’s still not right – look at this ugly theme, for now. But I want to be up and running again, and will tweak the pretties over a little time. In the meanwhile, please enjoy some ciambella.
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Brilliant!
Buon appetito!

2 c. AP flour
½ c. sugar
½ tsp. baking powder
8 Tbsp (1 stick) butter
1 egg
¼ tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. vanilla extract
zest of one lemon
¼ c. buttermilk or plain yogurt
2 Tbsp. pearl sugar & 1 tbsp. milk or water
Preheat oven to 375. Grease a shallow tube pan (like a baba au rhum pan), or line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Put the dry ingredients in the food process, pulse to combine.
Add the butter cubes, pulse until it looks like polenta.
Mix everything but the pearl sugar, pour it in the food processor, and pulse until you have dough.
It will be very stiff – like cookie dough. Pull it out, and roll it into a log about 2” thick. You can circle it in to the tube pan, or you can make it look like a giant doughnut on the parchment. You could also shape it in to a loaf about 3” wide and 8” long.
Once it’s shaped, brush it with the milk or water and sprinkle it with the pearl sugar.
Bake about 30-35 mins until golden and a tester comes out clean.
Cool and eat!
SERVINGS – 10
NIciambella

Blueberry Lemon Scones

I keep waiting for the day I tire of scones, but it ain’t here yet.  Brunch at home today.  How can you have Saturday brunch and not have scones? 
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This is just my basic scone recipe, with some blueberries added.

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mmm…..can you see all that yummy lemon zest in the glaze?

 I’ll just link to the existing recipe. For these booberry ones, you skip the pistachios.  After you mix the dry/liquid, split the dough in half and make two  7″ flattened discs.  On top of one, spread out 3/4 c frozen or fresh blueberries, then lay the other dough disc on top and smoosh it into shape.  Slice bake and glaze like the other – remember! Brush on the glaze layer one right out of the oven.
If you’ve never baked w/ blueberries, you might be asking “why the two disc method? why not just stir them in the dough?” Blueberries seep out their color something fierce, and you’ll wind up with an unappetizing grey dough. Gotta keep ’em separated – especially if they’re the frozen kind.

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Mmmm. Scones. Bon apétit. Try these quick delicious bits, and share your results!

Madeleines au Citron

madeleines au citron
madeleines au citron

Froggy fantastic times continue at the Yum. Marcel Proust aside(ugh, shoot me now Aunty),  this week Cuisine A-Z featured a bunch of madeleine recipes. I’ve had these pans for years, and never used them. Probably because of Proust. But, it is now time.

Pan at the ready, with the necessary obscenely thick layer of butter and flour.
Pan at the ready, with the necessary obscenely thick layer of butter and flour.

I know a sprinkling of powdered sugar is traditional, but I won’t be delivering these until the next day. So, a lemon juice glaze it is – that should keep them nice and moist until the grandladies get to take a bite. I think of them whenever I make something with lemon.

mmm....lemon glaze....
mmm….lemon glaze….

These take less than ten minutes to mix and then ten to bake. Twenty minutes to tea time temptation – not bad, ya’ll. Not bad.
for the pan
1 Tbsp melted unsalted butter
¼ c AP flour
for the batter
3 eggs
½ c sugar
heaping ¼ tsp salt
¾ tsp vanilla extract
¾ cup AP flour
2 tsp lemon zest
6 Tbsp melted unsalted butter
for the glaze
½ tsp lemon zest
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 c. powdered sugar
Instructions
Thoroughly butter the pan with the 1Tb melted butter, then using a flour sifter dust with the ¼ flour, jostle the pans a bit to get the flour in every nook and cranny. Tap out the excess. THIS STEP IS VERY IMPORTANT.
Heat oven to 375*
Whip the eggs, sugar and salt on high in the mixer for about two minutes, until it is barely pale yellow and super fluffy. Sift in the flour, then pour on the butter, lemon zest and vanilla. Mix quickly for acouple seconds until it’s homogenous.
Scoop heaping tablespoons of batter in to your prepped pan. Go evenly to the top or just below – don’t overfill, you’ll have a mess.
Bake 10 minutes until just *barely* golden at the edge, and they spring back when touched. After cooling for just a minute or two, test the edges of the cookies to make sure they are not stuck, and invert the pan.
Glaze when cool.
Consume immediately.
Notes
You can skip the glaze and just dust these with powdered sugar.
If you do glaze and don’t eat them immediately, the glaze will melt in to the cookie making the top slighlty sticky but ridiculously delicious.

Yields 24
Calories 94
Fat 4 g
Sodium 34 mg
Carbs 13 g
Protein 1 g

Lemon Pistachio Vanilla Scones……can it get any better?

Big batch of buttery goodness

 

Lemon. Yum. When it comes to sweets, lemon really is my favorite.  Even more than chocolate.  A while back, S. at work asked if she could buy some scones from me for a family member in her 90’s.  I always say no to these requests – being paid takes away the fun – but it was really hard to refuse.  So, I found a vanilla scone recipe at Joy of Baking, and of course tweeked it a bit.  They turned out nicely, and the grandma sent me a hand-written thank you card. Got me a little verklempt. 

Mmmm...lemony goodness

Lemon Pistachio Scone

 

So…..today I made a double batch to take to work tomorrow, one for the office and one for S. to take to Grandma’s.
Bon appétit.
Boxed up and ready to go!

Lemon Pistachio Vanilla Scones
Yields 8
Tender and lemony - a delightful not-too-sweet treat for breakfast, brunch or an afternoon coffee.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
35 min
364 calories
49 g
55 g
16 g
6 g
8 g
103 g
181 g
23 g
0 g
7 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
103g
Yields
8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 364
Calories from Fat 142
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 16g
25%
Saturated Fat 8g
41%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 55mg
18%
Sodium 181mg
8%
Total Carbohydrates 49g
16%
Dietary Fiber 2g
7%
Sugars 23g
Protein 6g
Vitamin A
8%
Vitamin C
4%
Calcium
8%
Iron
5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups AP flour
  2. 1/4 cup sugar
  3. 1 tsp. baking powder
  4. 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  5. 1/4 tsp. salt
  6. Zest from 1/2 a lemon
  7. 1/2 c. unsalted butter, cold!
  8. 3/4 cup buttermilk
  9. 1 egg yolk
  10. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or 1/2 vanilla bean, scraped and mixed with the liquids).
For the glaze
  1. Zest of the other half of that lemon
  2. Juice of one lemon (about 3-4 Tbsp)
  3. 1 c. confectioner's sugar
For the garnish
  1. 1/2 c. pistachios, finely chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400*.
  2. Line a standard size cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In your mixer or your food processer, put all the dry ingredients. Pulse a couple times to mix. Cube the cold butter and drop it in the dry mix. Pulse until the mix looks like coarse corn meal.
  4. Whisk together the egg yolk, vanilla and buttermilk.
  5. Flour your counter, barely stir the liquid in to the dry, then put it on your floured counter to barely, gently work the dough to a cohesive ball. With plenty of flour on your hands (this dough is quite sticky), gently, gently flatten the ball in to a disc about 8" across and 1" high. (or, divide the ball in two and flatten both those in to discs about 1" high). Heavily flouring your board knife or a large chef's knife, cut the circle in to 8 triangles.
  6. Use the heavily floured knife to help life the triangles to the baking tray. The dough is really soft and will lose its shape if you try to just pick it up and move it with your hand. If the scones are a little flourly, don't worry about. You can brush that off after they bake, and the glaze will hide imperfections.
  7. Bake 20-22 minutes, until they are golden brown and sound hollow when thumped.
  8. Remove from the oven and let cool almost completely.
  9. Make the glaze: mix the lemon zest, juice and confectioner's sugar. It should be the consistency of crepe batter.
  10. Use a pastry brush to glaze the scones (right in the pan, if you like) and while it is still wet sprinkle on the chopped pistachios. Gently press them in to the glaze so they stick.
  11. Serve.
  12. Best the same or the next day.
Adapted from Joy of Baking
beta
calories
364
fat
16g
protein
6g
carbs
49g
more
Adapted from Joy of Baking
Bucket of Yum http://bucketofyum.com/