Wednesday, January 4, 2012
It's pretty safe to say that in a few weeks when the days turn from cold to dreary we will all need a little something to brighten up our spirits. For this important task, I almost always turn to citrus. Whether it's a sweet clementine from the bowl on my table or a lemony chicken soup simmering away on the stove, the lightness of citrus always seems to do the trick. Despite the fact that there is a hole in this cake (See video below. Really, do it.), it is one of my go to winter recipes. It's zippy and tangy and I love that it uses the grapefruit and lemon zest, juice and flesh. The bits of whole fruit bake into pockets that dot the crumb with unexpected surprises that are just tart enough balance out the thick coating of sweet, zesty glaze and don't be tempted to skimp on the glaze. It's my favorite part.
For the Cake
adapted from Dozen Flours
yield, 1 bundt
2 meyer lemons
3c all purpose flour
1/2t baking soda
3c caster sugar (superfine)
1c butter, softened, European style if you can swing it
6 eggs, room temperature
1c sour cream, room temperature
For the Glaze
2 meyer lemons
2-2 1/2c confectioner's sugar, sifted
tiny pinch salt, really tiny, a few grains tiny
Preheat your oven to 325º and flour and butter a 16c tube or bundt pan very thoroughly. I used an "angel food cake" pan.
1. Put the sugar into a medium sized bowl and zest the grapefruit and lemons directly into the sugar. Use your fingers to evenly distribute the zest throughout the sugar.
2. Supreme the grapefruit and lemon by cutting the tops and bottoms of both fruits. Then with a very sharp knife, cut the white pith away from the outside of the fruit. Over a bowl, carefully cut the wedges of fruit away from the membrane letting the fruit and juices fall into the bowl. Remove any loose seeds that have fallen in and gently break up the fruit into 1/2'' sized pieces. If that didn't make any sense, here is a photo tutorial on how to supreme any citrus fruit. Once you get the hang of it, it's super easy.
3. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
4. In the bowl of a stand mixer or with an electric beater mix the butter on medium speed for about 2 min. Add half of the sugar/zest mixture and mix for 2 minutes then add the remaining sugar and mix for 4 min, making sure to scrape down the bowl periodically.
5. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing for about 30sec before adding the next egg.
6. On low speed, add in the flour mixture then the sour cream. Remove the bowl from the mixer and gently fold in the fruit segments and juices. Gently spoon the batter into the pan and tap lightly to remove any large air bubbles.
7. Bake the cake until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 1/2hrs. Let the cake cool in the pan for 20min, then very carefully unmold it onto a rack to cool.
Make the Glaze
Zest and juice the lemons into a bowl then whisk in 2c of confectioner's sugar and tiny pinch of salt. If the glaze looks very thin, add the rest of the sugar, if it looks to thick add a few more drops of lemon juice or even water. You want it to be thick, but pourable.
When the cake has mostly cooled use a skewer to poke a few holes in the top. Drizzle on 1/2 of the glaze and let it set for about an hour, then pour on the rest of the glaze. Alternately, you can let the first layer of glaze sit overnight before adding the rest.
Store leftovers at room temp in an airtight container.
- I can't even think about bundt cake without thinking of that early 2000's gem of a film, My Big Fat Greek Wedding. If you've seen it, you know what I am taking about here. If you haven't, here is a link to a truly terrible quality YouTube video so you can be in on the joke too. Just a little baking humor from me to you on this chilly Thursday.
- Make sure all of your ingredients are room temperature, it really is the key to good pound cake
- I've also make this cake with 4 lemons in place of the meyer lemon and grapefruit combo and it is superbly tart and tasty
- You can also bake this batter into 2 loaves, check them after about 45min for doneness.
- Don't make this cake on the day when you've cut your fingernails too short. Not that I would know or anything, ouchies...