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Entries in lemon (6)

Monday
Nov072016

Blueberry, Lemon, Ricotta Drop Cookies

 

     Blueberry and lemon is such a classic combo for a dessert and especially for a pound cake. But, what if you don’t want a whole, cake? What if you just want a cookie, or two, or three? Well here you are - half cookie, half cake, and all flavor. It’s sort of like a muffin top, but not as crunchy. It’s sort of like a cake, but not as crumbly. It’s a fluffy, tender, cookie chocked full of tangy blueberries.  

 

Makes 18-20 medium sized cookies

½ cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

Grated zest and juice from 1 lemon

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

¾ cup whole milk or fresh ricotta

8 oz blueberries, washed and picked through

     Preheat oven to 375°F.

     In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in lemon zest and egg.

     Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl, set aside. Whisk ricotta and lemon juice together in a small bowl. Add ricotta mixture to bowl, beat on low until combined, it will look grainy and broken. Add flour to bowl, and beat on low until combined. Remove bowl and gently fold in blueberries.

     Drop scant 1/8 cup measures of dough (approx ½ of an average ice cream scoop) on parchment lined baking sheets. Press down into a disk about ¼ of an inch thick. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden around the edges. Cool on wire racks.

 

Friday
Oct142016

Lemon Buttermilk Bundt Cake - Code Name: Hurricane Matthew Evacuation Relief Dessert

      

I’m never getting off this baking buttermilk bandwagon (say that three times fast then LOL at yourself).

      The original recipe for this is from the CIA (the cooking school in Hyde Park, NY, not the spy guys in Langley, VA) obviously.

     I mean for one thing, we’d never get the spy guys’ recipe. If they even have one for lemon buttermilk cake, which they probably do underwraps, but it’s probably super secret, classified even; unlike Hillary’s hacked risotto revelations.

      But, the CIA, the one in Hyde Park, regularly disseminates their secrets and prized, classified recipes. Which makes us all better in the kitchen.

      I had a little CIA Intel situation of my own going on. I made it once, and this covert CIA wannabe decided the recipe needed a lot more lemon juice and zest. I confess. I did the unthinkable. I altered a CIA recipe/brief. Whoops sorry, not sorry.        

     Here’s what I did. First I sprinkled the pan with sugar instead of flour. Enter a nice carmalized outside. I doubled/tripled the lemon zest and juice, pucker up! Then with the glaze; who wants water when, that’s right, LEMON is right there at your now zesty fingertips.

     So - Sugar, on lemon on buttermilk, on more lemon on sugar gets you a really crunchy, tart and sweet on the outside, soft and lemony on the inside CAKE.

     Sorry CIA I didn’t pay attention to orders. I deviated from the plan of attack and I think the mission was successful. 

 

Makes 1 9-inch cake  

 

1 cup (2 full sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature plus more for pan

1 ¾ cups sugar, plus more for pan

2 2/3 cups all purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

1 ¼ cups buttermilk

3 lemons, zested

10 tablespoons lemon juice from zested lemons (may need a bit more to make up 10 tablespoons)

4 large eggs, room temperature

For the glaze

¾ cup confectioners’ sugar

2 lemons zested and juiced

     Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter Bundt pan and sprinkle sugar around to coat the inside, tap out excess.

     Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl, set aside. In another bowl whisk buttermilk, lemon juice and zest together, set aside.

      Add butter and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

     Add eggs one at a time, beat well and scrape down bowl after each addition. Reduce speed to low. Add dry ingredients to the egg mixture alternating with the buttermilk mixture in 3 additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix until incorporated, and batter is smooth, do not over beat.

     Pour batter into prepared pan, smooth with a spatula. Bake 1 hour until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean and the cake springs back when touched. Check after 50 minutes just in case.

 

     Let cake cool completely on a wire rack and make the glaze. Whisk confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice and zest together in a small bowl until smooth. If glaze is too thick, add more lemon juice, too thin? Add more sugar.  Invert cake onto plate and spoon glaze over cooled cake. Let glaze harden, then cut and serve at room temperature.

  

Note: Adapted from Baking At Home With The Culinary Institute Of America

 

Monday
Sep262016

Very Lemony Pistachio Shortbread Cookies

 

     Lemon shortbread? Yes. Pistachio laced lemon shortbread? Hell yes! Three tablespoons of lemon juice may sound like a lot and it is. It’s what makes these melt in your mouth cookies zing your taste buds and standout from other shortbread recipes. That plus the added silky, subtle, crunch from the pistachios helps make the tedious task of shelling, blanching and skinning the nuts worth it.  

Makes up to 2 dozen cookies

1 ½ sticks butter, softened and cut in pieces (12 tablespoons)

2/3-cup sugar

1 egg separated

1-teaspoon vanilla

Grated zest from two lemons

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 cup chopped pistachios, shelled, skins removed

1 ¾ cups cake flour

     Preheat oven to 325°F. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar together, on medium speed, until light and fluffy, about 5-7 minutes. Add egg yolk and vanilla, continue beating until incorporated, add lemon juice slowly. Lower speed to stir, mix in pistachios until evenly distributed, then add flour. Mix until combined; remove bowl and finish incorporating flour using a spatula. The dough will be soft.

     Using a tablespoon measure, or small ice cream scoop, place dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper about 1 inch apart. Press dough down slightly to flatten. The cookies won’t spread, but will puff up.

     NOTE: This is a perfect dough for a shaped cookie pan like the one I used.

  

 

Saturday
Aug272016

Lemon Pudding Cake 

 

 

 

I had lemons, I had buttermilk and wanted cake. So, when my NYTimes “what to cook” email came through featuring this recipe, again, I took it as a culinary sign that lemon pudding cake was in my future.

     This cake was a snap to make. I was a little skeptical about it separating and turning into sponge on top and custard on the bottom. But, like the magic that baking is - it happened. One batter two layers.

     Well, I don’t believe in magic (since I’m a muggle – sigh) and we know baking is actually a science, I wanted to know the “why” behind the magic science. Turns out that during the baking process, the egg whites and flour rise, while the pudding stays at the bottom. The water level in the oven bath helps determine how much pudding there’ll be. The water insulates and slows down the bottom layer’s cooking, which allows the cake portion to form and bake, like magic, I mean science (Thank you, America’s Test Kitchen for the info). A lot of recipes suggest serving this fresh tangy cake warm, I liked it cold. Next time, there’ll be vanilla ice cream and blueberry sauce to go with.

 

Makes 1 8-inch cake

 4 large eggs, separated

Zest from two lemons

2/3 cup lemon juice

1-tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

1-cup sugar

½-cup flour

½-teaspoon salt

1½-cups buttermilk

     Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter an 8-inch square or round cake pan. Place it in a large roasting pan, fill roasting pan half way up with water. Remove buttered cake pan, and place roasting pan in oven.

     Whisk egg yolks, lemon zest, lemon juice and butter together in a large bowl. Whisk sugar, flour, and salt together in another bowl. Whisk half the sugar mixture into the egg yolks, followed by half the buttermilk. Whisk remaining sugar mixture, then buttermilk, and whisk until smooth.

     Beat egg whites into soft peaks, then carefully fold into batter. Pour batter into prepared pan, place in water bath and bake until the cake is set, about 35-40 minutes.

Note: Adapted from Julie Moskin’s NYTimes cooking recipe.

 

 

Tuesday
Oct262010

Goat Cheese Spread with Thyme and Lemon

 

I wish I could take credit for this, but can’t.  So simple, so delicious and so like Chef Bob Waggoner to whip it up one day.  Yummy! 

 

Ingredients

Serves 4-6 as an appetizer

4oz goat cheese, room temperature

1 small shallot, finely minced

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves

1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Black pepper to taste

 

Soften and “cream’ the goat cheese in a medium bowl using a fork.  Add the shallot, thyme, lemon peel, lemon juice and season with black pepper.  Continue mixing until all the ingredients are combined.  Serve with crackers or toasted baguette pieces.  

Saturday
Jun202009

Lemon Soufflé Pancakes with Crème Anglaise and Summer Berries  

 

These pancakes are seriously one of the best things I have ever made. They are light and fluffy. They have a wonderful taste of lemon that fits perfectly with the berries and vanilla crème anglaise. Sure you could make them for breakfast and I did. But for dessert they’re fabulous.

After I made these my head was filled with ideas like; making orange soufflé pancakes or vanilla ones, using a large round cut out and make a more formal looking stack with fruit or just cream. Or make a lemon flavored whipped cream. See what I’m talking about? The ideas are endless. You could use these pancakes as the basis for a trifle...they are just that good! One other thing? I will never make pancakes the old fashioned way again. Like I said, light, fluffy tasty oh did I mention easy? Very!

Makes 8-10 pancakes

Ingredients

3 eggs, separated

1 cup ricotta cheese

Freshly grated peel from 2 lemons

Juice of 2 lemons, about 6 tablespoons

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 cup flour

Pinch of salt

Combine the egg yolks, ricotta, sugar, vegetable oil, lemon peel and juice in a food processor or blender. Process for 20 seconds. Add baking powder, flour, and salt. Process 10 seconds until smooth. Scrape down the sides if necessary. Pour batter into a large bowl, set aside. In another large bowl, beat eggs whites until they hold stiff peaks. Fold egg whites gently into batter. Cook on hot griddle for 2 minutes per side, until pancakes are golden.

 

Crème Anglaise

1-cup whole milk

1 cup whipping cream

1 vanilla bean, split

3 egg yolks

1/3-cup sugar

Heat milk, cream and vanilla bean in a medium saucepan over low heat until boiling. Set a side. Beat yolks and sugar together in a large bowl. Pour milk mixture over yolks beating vigorously (you don’t want the eggs to cook when the hot milk hits them). Pour mixture back into saucepan and continue cooking over low heat stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until it thickens. The sauce is done when it coats the back of the spoon and will continue to thicken while it cools. Strain sauce through a sieve, remove vanilla bean, cover with cling film and refrigerate until ready to use.