Friday, April 20, 2012

TWD - Lemon Loaf Cake

(Yes, I do know that it is actually Friday.  My apologies to our hosts Truc and Michelle.  All I can say is that life happens.  Having done all the prep work, I still wanted to post, so here goes.)

When life gives you lemons, 

Make Lemon Loaf Cake (recipe on pages 252-253 of Dorie Greenspan's book, Baking With Julia).  

This is a lovely cake, with a subtle lemon flavor, that could be used for so many things as well as eating just as it is.  If you have all the ingredients, 

you can mix it together in just a few minutes with only a whisk.  No need to get out the mixer.  

First zest some lemons.
Whisk together some eggs, sugar and salt.

Sift in a mixture of flour and
baking powder. Whisk in some
heavy cream. Fold in some melted
 butter and...Wah La!!!
Beautiful Lemon Loaf Cake, baked,
cooled, and ready to slice.

Now you just have to decide how you want to eat it.  It would make a wonderful cake base for Strawberry Shortcake or you could use those zested lemons to make a lemon glaze.  Might even work well in a bread pudding.  It could pair with so many other flavors.  If you were in an experimenting mood, it might be fun to put some basil in the lemon glaze.  It's even delicious toasted.

Just two cautionary notes.  Be sure to actually get out your sifter and sift the flour into the egg mixture.  If you don't you could end up with little pockets of flour that would detract from your beautiful cake.  Secondly, don't over-bake or it will be dry.  Remember that it will continue cooking after you remove it from the oven.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

TWD - Pizza Rustica

Being the procrastinator that I am, I only saw the name of what we were making this month and made one of those assumptions you aren't supposed to make.  I assumed we would be having pizza.  Now, we just love pizza.  I've been dreaming of how much we would enjoy it.  Well, I finally got around to actually reading the recipe that was hosted by Emily of Capitol Region Dining and Raelynn of The Place They Call Home and it has no resemblance to pizza at all.  Not only that, but my very weakest baking skill is pie and it looked just like pie.  Furthermore, my sweet hubby who tries to eat all of my food experiments doesn't eat pie...any kind of pie.  I suppose I could have chosen to skip this one, but I made a commitment to participate and there wasn't any good reason not to follow through.

I bought all the ingredients for the filling and crust and proceeded to go to work.

The filling was very easy.  It just required a little grating, chopping and mixing.

Ricotta and Eggs
Mozzarella and Pecorino Romano


Aren't the colors beautiful?
Now on to the dough...

Dry Ingredients & Butter (Pulse a little)

Comes together nicely in the food processor.
Portion the dough.
Use a tapered rolling pin for the
round piece.

Drape and press to the buttered dish.

Roll and cut the lattice.  Use a
straight rolling pin to make
the square.

Ready for the oven (I could use a little
lattice practice).

Bottom rack
Now let's see what happens at dinner time.  Will he go for the peanut butter jar?

Cutting the first piece
My plate with fresh sautéed spinach
And the final result was a success!!!
There were a couple of things about this recipe that I thought were interesting.  It could be just the way you make this traditional dish (I made it just exactly as directed).
  • The instructions did not include chilling the dough.  My baking instincts worried about this one.
  • There was no information regarding egg washing the crust before putting it in the oven.  I looked at the illustration in the book and it did not look like an egg wash was used.  I think it would be prettier with the browning that an egg wash would produce.
Lots of variations come to mind including:
  • Adding some lemon zest
  • Perhaps some nutmeg
  • Leaving out the prosciutto and adding some blueberries
The recipe can be found on pp. 430 and 431 in the Baking with Julia book or on the blogs of our hostesses mentioned above. 

I can see serving this for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  The leftovers will not go to waste!