Lemon and Blueberry Teacakes

 

Lemon and Blueberry Teacakes

I was so excited to buy Ottolenghi’s new baking book, Sweet, in late fall, but have found myself so busy that I haven’t baked from it yet. Recently, though, when I was looking for a good springtime treat to share with friends, I came upon this recipe from that book. It looked terrific, and it tasted even better. I even got rave reviews from the piano movers who happened to be at our house when the cakes came out of the oven.  And since many of house in my house are lemon lovers, I’m sure I’ll use it frequently. (Note: I usually buy almond flour at Costco these days, if you are looking for an affordable and easy option.)

Lemon Blueberry Teacakes

Makes about 12 cupcakes

3/4 c. + 1 1/2 T. (190 g) unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
1/4 c. + 1 T. (45g) all-purpose flour
2 c. (190g) ground almonds
3/4 c. +  3 1/2 T. (190g) sugar
4 eggs
1/4 c. (60 ml) lemon juice
finely grated zest of one lemon
1/4 t. salt (the original amount is 1/8)
1/4 t. baking powder
2/3 c. (100g) blueberries

Glaze:
a few squeezes of lemon juice
freshly grated lemon zest of one lemon (my addition)
1 1/3 c. (160g) icing sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (180°). Grease all 12 molds of a regular muffin pan with butter and dust lightly but thoroughly with flour. Tap away any excess and set aside.

Place the butter, granulated sugar and lemon zest in the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment in place. Beat on medium-high speed until light, then add the eggs and almond meal in three or four alternating batches. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl, then add this to the mixer and turn the speed to low. Finally, add the lemon juice and eat until combined. Spoon the mixture into the molds and divide the 2/3 c. blueberries between the cakes: push them down slightly so that they sink into the batter. The reason we do this is to ensure that each cake gets an equal number of berries.

 

Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the edges are lightly golden and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cakes comes out clean. Leave to cool for about 10 minutes before tapping them out gently onto a cooling rack so that they are sitting upside down. Cool completely.

To make the icing: combine the confectioners’ sugar and zest and juice in a bowl and stir until it has a thick pouring consistency. Spoon the icing over the cakes and dot the remaining blueberries in the center (or strawberries!). Serve.

A Perfect Spring Meal

I’m a little late on the au courant cookbook scene, having just checked out Ottolenghi and Tamini’s Jerusalem a couple of weeks ago, but I’m so pleased with the first dish I made out of it that I’ve been exploring more recipes ever since. The night I made burgers, we also had homemade bread and butter, as well as a big bowl of fruit, and I thought 1) I wish this meal would magically appear on my table again tomorrow night  and 2) the sunshine, this meal, and my family have made this night perfect. So far, these burgers are still my favorite dish from the book, but there’s still more I’m trying . . .

Turkey & Zucchini Burgers

  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1 large zucchini, coarsely grated (scant 2 cups)
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 T. chopped mint
  • 2 T. chopped cilantro
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 t. ground cumin
  • 1 t. salt
  • ½ t. fresh ground pepper
  • ½ t. cayenne pepper
  • 6½ T. sunflower oil, for searing
Yogurt Sauce
  • scant ½ c. sour cream
  • scant ⅔ c. Greek yogurt
  • 1 t. grated lemon zest
  • 1 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 small clove garlic, crushed
  • 1½ t. olive oil
  • 1 T. sumac (I omitted, because I have to search harder to find this here)
  • ½ t. salt
  • ¼ t. ground pepper

    Set oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

    Make the yogurt sauce by combining all the ingredients in a bowl and mixing well, and then place in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

    Place all the burger ingredients, except the oil, in a large bowl. Mix well, using your hands, making sure to get all the ingredients well incorporated, but don’t over-work the meat; fold gently and quickly.

    Make the meat patties: a 1/3 cup measurement will make 9 burgers. (You can make your burgers as large or small as you like, but will need to adjust the cooking time.) Note that the mixture will be quite wet.

    Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat, adding half of the oil once it is heated up. Once the oil is sizzling, brown the patties on both sides, for about 2 minutes per side, working in batches, and adding more oil as needed.

    Set the browned burgers on the prepared baking sheet and bake for about 7 to 10 minutes, or until an instant thermometer registers 165 degrees F. Serve with yogurt sauce on top. Enjoy this delightful meal!