Posts tagged ‘spring’

April 16, 2013

Check out the Bundt on that one!

What a shy Spring this one has been! After suffering through the monotonous months of the new year, this bashful beauty has blossomed and with it the preferred climate for baking and beering!

My unused, unspoiled, window wearing new kitchen has been crying out for this dawdling domestic to get her act together and use the pearly white appliances. I could feel the bored bowls, sleepy spoons, and distressed drawer of baking equipment getting more annoyed with each dessert-less day.

I suppose it was the lazy way Spring lingered in, but once that pleasant April air breezed through, and that sparkling new Bundt pan peeked out of the cupboard, I knew it was time.

How could I have denied myself this lemon laced lady killer?

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After perusing the produce section and finding lemons 6 for a dollar, it was settled. Also, there is something very sophisticated and proper about a sculptured citrus cake in the Springtime. I would imagine one wearing ivory gloves while delicately dishing out this dessert, and enjoying with tiny lustrous utensils.

 

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Look how beautifully these citrus sisters go together, a match made in lemon heaven.

However, I do have to admit that perhaps this was not the most elegant aperitif to dance alongside the bold Bundt. For this one it did not matter what was in the glass, but simply what was painted onto its svelte body.

 

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Plus, how could I have added beer to the apricot glaze for that added hop and dark caramel color?

This was a delightfully easy recipe which resulted in simple, delicious and bright flavors perfect for welcoming the sun back on the streets.

Classic Lemon Bundt

2 Sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
3 cups AP Flour
1 Tsp. Baking Powder
2 tsp. Salt
2 1/2 Cups Sugar
Finely grated zest of 6 lemons
4 Extra Large Eggs
1 Cup Buttermilk (Full fat, there is already 2 sticks of butter in here)
Apricot Glaze
3/4 Cup apricot preserves
1/4 Cup fresh lemon juice
Some splashes of beer if that sounds like a good idea at the time.

Cake:

Preheat oven to 350°.

Spray 12″ Bundt pan with non-stick baking spray (unless you were lucky enough to get a NordicWear nonstick Bundt pan for your birthday, then don’t even worry!) Whisk baking powder, salt, and flour in a medium bowl.

Combine sugar and lemon zest in a large bowl, using your fingers, rub together until lemon sugar is well blended. Much like a sandy beach feel here.

Add softened butter to lemon sugar mixture. Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat until mixture is light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating to blend between additions and occasionally scraping down sides and bottom of bowl with a rubber spatula, until mixture is light and very fluffy.

With the speed on low add dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.

Pour batter into prepared Bundt pan.

Bake cake until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean, about an hour. Let cake cool for ten minutes and flip over and release onto a cutting board or fancy plate.

For the glaze:

Combine preserves and lemon juice in a small saucepan (I added a couple splashes of my second beer here). Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until glaze is reduced to 1/2 cup, 6-8 minutes. Strain glaze into a small pitcher. Pour that all over your beautiful bodacious cake!

Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from

http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2013/03/lemon-buttermilk-bundt-cake

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May 10, 2011

Lovely Day

The weather has been perfectly delightful these past couple of days. We can finally open the windows and let the spring breezes air out this stuffy apartment. It seems like just yesterday I was knee-deep in snow, but boy am I glad we are over that! Winter is always good for baking warm pies and cookies, but the spring is a time to celebrate fresh fruits and vegetables.

To honor the coming of summer solstice I decided to whip up a quick guacamole, fry up some tortilla chips, pop open a seasonal brew and take a leisurely break.

Guacamole

I went with Anchor’s Summer Beer, it’s a superb seasonal selection. My roommate started drinking these Anchor beers from San Francisco awhile ago. They have a ton of different brewskies and they all taste great!

Perhaps, I will look into having a little Anchor brewery tasting night…

Classic Guacamole

2 Ripe avocados

1 Nice sized on-the-vine tomato

1 Small red onion

1 Jalapeno

2-3 Tbsp. Sour cream

Juice of half a lime

Salt + Pepper to taste

Mash up your avocados in a bowl, I like to leave it a little chunky. Cut your onion, jalapeno, and tomato pretty small and add to the avocado. Add the sour cream, mix up. Add your lime, salt, and pepper to your liking.

Easy Peasy lemon squeezy!

Oh yeah! and you have listen to this song while you do all of this.

Lovely Day by Bill Withers

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May 7, 2011

Morning Has Broken…

And so has the seal on this Prosecco bottle!

It’s a Spring celebration! For me, this means taking advantage of fruits and vegetables that are at their peak of perfection. So, at my produce market I saw those beautiful ruby red rhubarb stalks and the strikingly large pyramid of strawberries. After yelping out in joy, I filled up my basket and my mouth started to water just thinking about this most natural and harmonious combination of flavors.

Rhubarb

I couldn’t find my pie pan (gasp!) thus, a free form Crostata was my next option. It was absolutely marvelous. Seriously, strawberry and rhubarb together in anything means business.

Rhubarb Crostata

Paired with a crisp, refreshing glass of Prosecco, this made a terrific breakfast for me and my roommate Pablo.

BreakfastCheers!

Forks

Strawberry Rhubarb Crostata (Adapted from http://www.sweetpotatochronicles.com/wordpress/)

Crust                                                                              Filling

2 Cups flour                                                                  1/4 Cup cornstarch
1 1/2 Tbsp sugar                                                          4 Cups rhubarb, sliced about 1/2 inch thick
1/2 Tsp kosher salt                                                      2 Pints of strawberries, quartered
1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter                               2/3 Cup sugar
1 Jumbo egg                                                                   1 Jumbo egg
1 Tbsp milk                                                                    Raw sugar (for sprinkling)

Mix flours, sugar and salt in a bowl.  Now, grate the very cold butter with the large holes on a box cheese grater. An amazing method that will change your life a little.Whisk together the milk and egg and then stir into the flour. It will seem like not enough moisture to hold into a dough but it is. Use your hands to gather it into a ball. Flatten it into a disk, wrap tightly will cling wrap and put in the fridge for an hour.

Dissolve the cornstarch in about 6 Tbsps of water. Combine strawberries, rhubarb and sugar in a heavy bottomed pan and cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Add the cornstarch slurry and stir well. Let simmer for another minute or two. Pour the fruit mixture into a bowl and place in the fridge for 30 minutes or completely cool.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Roll the dough out into a 12 inch circle. Whisk the egg and brush the entire surface of the dough. Go ahead and add the mixture to the dough, leaving about an 1 1/2 inch empty border of dough. Fold the edges up just enough to keep the filling in the center. Brush the border with egg and sprinkle the edges with raw sugar. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until the crust is golden brown.

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