Monday, February 4, 2008

Lemon upside-down cake

This recipe was one of L.A. Food Times 10 Best Recipes for 2007 - sounds good to me, I'm a lemon FREAK.... I love anything lemon.

AND, since I'm pretty lazy these days when it comes to cooking and take all the shortcuts I can, I probably would just use a lemon cake mix and add a teaspoon of lemon extract to the batter, then proceed with the topping.

That's what I do with pineapple-upside-down cake - I use a pineapple cake mix, the juice from the can of pineapple and add the teaspoon of pineapple extract - then all I have to do is add the butter/brown sugar and pineapple to the bottom of the pan. It works great, just ask Hooterville. She just ADORES it, especially when "Leddy" makes it for her.

~ jan

Note: A marmalade-like top (or is it bottom?) with overlapping slices of lemons make this upside-down cake recipe from Donna Deane a standout. It's from a March 14 article about baking with lemons by Deane and Susan LaTempa. It may be served with a lightly sweetened whipped cream, if desired.

4 small lemons (about 4 ounces each)
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter (1 1/4 sticks), divided
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 vanilla bean, split
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk

1. Cut 3 of the lemons into one-eighth-inch thick slices. Remove seeds and set aside. You will have about 30 lemon slices. Grate 1 teaspoon lemon peel from the remaining lemon. Set aside the grated peel; save the lemon for another use.

2. Heat 4 tablespoons of the butter in a 10-inch cast iron skillet or an ovenproof 10-inch saute pan until melted. Brush the sides of the skillet with a little of the melted butter. Add the brown sugar, stir until it is moistened with the butter and spread it into an even layer. Arrange the lemon slices, slightly overlapping, to cover the bottom of the skillet. Set aside.

3. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and set aside.

4. Cut the remaining 6 tablespoons butter into a mixing bowl. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean with the point of a knife onto the butter. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, scraping down the sides of the bowl, until creamy. Add the sugar and grated lemon peel and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time.

5. Add half the flour mixture and beat until blended. Add milk and beat until combined, then add the remaining flour mixture and beat until blended.

6. Spread the batter over the lemons in the skillet to cover evenly. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until the cake is golden and the center tests done. Let the cake stand 5 minutes, then invert the skillet onto a platter. To serve, slice into wedges with a sharp knife.

Each serving: 498 calories; 5 grams protein; 62 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams fiber; 28 grams fat; 17 grams saturated fat; 122 mg. cholesterol; 274 mg. sodium.

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