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.

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

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Saveur’s Great Image

I don’t know that I’ve ever heard my son Henry say, “Mom, will you make this again sometime?” because I don’t know that he’s ever enjoyed a dinner meal enough to say this. So, I was shocked at this declaration last week when I made these meatballs. He, and all my other kids, really loved them. Loved them as in ate-them-all-and-asked-for-more loved them. I couldn’t believe it. Happily, my hubby and I loved them, too. This recipe comes from Saveur magazine, November 2012.

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Sweet and Sour Sauce
2 tbsp. canola oil
1 medium yellow onion, minced
1 15-oz. can tomato sauce
½ tsp. sour salt (available at Amazon.com), or the juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tbsp.)
¼ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Meatballs
2 lb. ground beef chuck
2 eggs, beaten
⅓ cup long-grain white rice, parboiled for 3 minutes
1 cup bread crumbs
1 medium yellow onion, grated on the coarse side of a box grater
2¼ tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1. Prepare the sauce: In a large Dutch oven, heat the oil, then sauté the minced onion over medium heat until tender and golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, and rinse out the can with ½ cup water to loosen any sauce that remains, adding that liquid to the pan. Stir in the sour salt or lemon juice and brown sugar. Bring to a simmer, uncovered, over medium heat. Remove from the heat and set aside.
2. Make the meatballs: Put the ground meat in a large bowl and push it to one side. Add the eggs, rice, bread crumbs, onion, salt, and pepper to the other side of the bowl and combine with a large fork. Work in the meat, handful by handful, until everything is thoroughly blended. Return the sauce to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Using a ½-cup measuring cup, shape meatballs measuring about 2½” and drop them gently into the sauce. You should have 10 to 12. Cover and simmer slowly for 30 minutes, gently rotating and pushing the meatballs around halfway through the cooking so that they are thoroughly coated in sauce after about 15 minutes. Correct seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary. Serve very hot.

Glazed Radishes

Glazed RadishesI clipped this recipe from an Everyday Food back in 2006, and I’m still making it. It is definitely my favorite thing to do with radishes, besides topping fish tacos with them. The result is something sweet and salty, and the radishes almost take on a pearl-onion flavor, but I like these better.  You can tell from the photo how many we had left by the time I remembered to take a photo!

Glazed Radishes
3 bags (6 ounces each) red radishes (about 45), ends trimmed
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
Coarse salt and ground pepper
Cut large radishes in half; leave small ones whole. In a 12-inch skillet, combine radishes, butter, sugar, vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 1 1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil over high heat; cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid has reduced and radishes are tender and glazed, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve.