Saturday, October 1, 2011

Morning of baking . . . and a recipe . . .

I spent yesterday morning up in the mountains, at my parent's house, baking a slew of things sweet. My parents often host retreats, and they were in need of some things that make you understand why apples and butter and sugar were created in the first place. I think the apple trees are one of the things I miss most since we moved down out of the canyon. Of course there are tons of things, but the crisp bounty that betroths themselves to the trees each year, is something that can't be found anywhere else. It is not just an orchard . . . It is something that reigns magic as far as magic can be held in this world. In fact, in reference to a post I did a little while back, I think the orchard up there would be one of the biggest wabi-sabi experiences I have ever had.
I meant to take a few picture as we picked this pile of sun packed sweetness, but somehow it never happened. Just imagine wonderful fall apple picking and you'll be heading in the right direction.
I love baking in their kitchen . . . looking out the window, surrounded by nothing but
growing greenery and chaparral thick hills.  I made a few things, mostly from my mom's cookbook . . . 
This apple cake is an mix-match of the book's pear-upside-down cake and an apple crisp. 
I also made lemon pound cake and a flourless chocolate cake. For this post I am including the recipe for the book's Meyer Lemon Half Pound Cake. It is one of our favorite go to recipes for just about any occasion. Meyer lemons are a variety of lemon that is sweeter than regular lemons. My parents have trees laden with them and we use them for eveything, hence the name of this cake, but any lemon will do.

Meyer Lemon Half Pound Cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a large bowl mix:
8 tablespoons butter soft
3/4 cups raw sugar
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


Add one at a time, stirring as you go: 
3 eggs 

Add, and mix:
2 +1/4 cups unbleached white flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch salt

Add:
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup yogurt
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon rind

Butter and dust with flour a bread loaf pan.
Fill with batter and bake at 350 degrees for 60-80 minutes
or until a knife inserted comes out clean. 


  
                                                              Happy fall baking ~ Marica

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