Monday, March 21, 2011

Just Say No to Eating Animals Monday: Volume 17 Sweet Spring Has Sprung

I have a re-kindled love of orchids

Today is the 1st Day of Spring.  It’s also the Celebration of Naw-Ruz, the Bahai New Year and the end of the Bahai Fast.

Yes, we are Bahai, hence my infrequent posts on food.  I cooked very little during the Fast.

On the left, granulated sugar, on the right that granulated sugar has been blended into superfine sugar

Still here’s a sweet that makes me think of all the warmth you find in a spring-kissed day like the one we had today.  This treat is warm, sunny, sweet, and utterly delightful.

PIGNOLI and ALMOND CAKE     inspired by LTH Forum's thread here  adapted from Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers of River Cafe across the pond!
 ·                       8 oz. unsalted butter, softened
·                       1 Tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
·                       2  Meyer lemons
·                       6 tablespoons pine nuts, divided
·                       1 cup superfine sugar
·                       4 eggs
·                       3/4 cups all purpose flour
·                       1 cup almonds, measure first then grind them
·                       1/4 teaspoon  coarse finishing salt
Preheat oven to 350.
 Use the butter left on the wrapper to grease a loaf pan.  Line the greased loaf pan with parchment.
 Use a microplane to grate the lemon peel.  Juice one of the lemons.  Chop 3 tablespoons of pine nuts.
 Beat the butter and sugar with the vanilla extract until light and fluffy, then stir in the eggs one at a time. Fold in the flour, ground almonds, and chopped pine nuts.  Add lemon juice and stir in the lemon peel.
 Mix the remaining, unchopped, pine nuts with the salt. Spoon the batter into the pan, sprinkle with the salted pine nuts and bake in the oven for 70 minutes. The cake is ready when a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool in the pan.

The Meyer Lemons really are a kiss of spring, it makes a significant difference to the cake to use them.


  1. I made this for a weekend brunch, using my blender to make superfine sugar and then to pulverize the almonds, and it was wonderful! Did not have Meyer lemons this time--must try it again next time I see them in the store.

  2. OK, I have now made this three times. I *adore* the flavor combination, but, though each of my iterations has been tasty, none has yet risen to the sublime level that I think it should. The 1st 2 times I mistakenly used only 1 stick of butter. Having been corrected, I used the full 2 sticks the 3d time. Nice and moist, but it didn't all incorporate, for when I took it out of the oven after 40 min. the nicely browned loaf was *swimming* in butter. Maybe using cake flour instead of all-purpose had something to do with it, so next time I will use the AP flour and will not sift it. I have found Meyer lemons for the next time, too, though I must say I find the taste of regular lemons marvelous.

  3. You will love, love, love the Meyer lemons. It's hard for me to even think of making this lovely cake without them, although I'm confident you are right that it is a winner with Eureka lemons. That is what they used in the recipe that served as inspiration.