April, 2008 Archive

Monday, April 7, 2008

lemon yogurt anything cake

lemon blueberry yogurt cake

We were almost done with our blissful batch of Meyer lemons when I realized that it would be a crime against… well, something dramatic if I finished them without sharing with you a recipe which might look at the outset like just a plain old loaf cake, but should not be taken at face value. You may see lemons and blueberry but I want you to see a palette upon which you can paint your countless citrus yogurt cake dreams. This cake is so moist that it needs to be cut carefully, so not to smoosh the crumbs from the top of the cake into the bottom, and so delicious, I dare you to make it last a week(end).

The core recipe comes from Ina Garten, and you might recognize it from the grapefruit cake I made last year, but really, I never meant to stop there. Let me now make up for lost time with other ideas for the cake:

Continued after the jump »

Friday, April 4, 2008

spring panzanella

spring panzanella

Every morning, I wake up and I have to remind myself that it is not spring yet. I push past all of the cute spring clothes I’ve overeagerly purchased and reach for one of the sweaters and lined pants I swear I have worn ten hundred thousand times since September and I was tired of them then: It’s not spring yet. I read food blogs from people in Paris and San Francisco, fawning over the new strawberries and colorful produce at their farmers’ markets and go to ours and see the same cabbage and potatoes (though I’m crossing my fingers for ramps today) as before: It’s not spring yet. And I honestly don’t know why I would expect to be spring in the first week of April when it is never spring in New York during the first week of April but still, I have never been more impatient for the world to warm up around me.

sourish bread cubs

But last weekend it was at least unfrozen enough to take little walk that landed us at the Balthazar Bakery where we split the most mildly sweet and adorably tiny pistachio doughnut ever and picked a small boule of their “sourish” (their description, not mine) white bread and proceeded to forget about it (shame, shame) until it staled. Suddenly, there on the subway platform a couple days later I started scheming about a spring panzanella that would make me feel better about how far off warm weather seems.


Continued after the jump »

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

shaker lemon pie

shaker lemon pie

A little over a year ago, my mother and I leapt at the opportunity to make a whole lemon tart featured in the New York Times and ended up with one of the most caustic, inedible things I have yet to make on this site. And people, with an ever-growing category of “disasters,” that is no small feat.

meyer lemons

We received a lot of comments on that post ranging from sympathy to eye-rolling (as one of this woman’s recipes had previously felled another reader) but the bulk of them came in two veins: You should have used Meyer lemons and you really ought to make a Shaker Lemon Pie next.

As for the Meyer lemons, a milder and thinner-skinned cousin of the lemons we have readily available in the U.S., these comments made me dig my heels in, oh, just a little. Because while Meyer lemons may have yielded a better outcome, this was not my complaint: my complaint had been that the recipe said that Meyer lemons were an option not a requirement and I held the recipe to this and it nearly cauterized a hole in the roof of my mouth.

But there was another reason that I knew that it would take more than Meyer lemons to save this tart, and that, my friends, is a simple matter of proportion. The Evil Tart’s citrus to sugar ratio was eight whole lemons to three-quarters of a cup. The standard Shaker Lemon Pie recipe uses two whole lemons to two cups of sugar. You don’t need to be a math whiz to figure out why that all went to hell in a handbasket.

meyer lemon zestmeyer lemon, beveled

Continued after the jump »