Tuesday, January 17, 2012

here's the thing

I have this skillet. It's emerald green and made of clay. In many ways, or as far as ceramic skillets go, it's perfect.  The thing is, since acquiring said dish months ago, I still haven't used it.

It seemed only fitting then yesterday, when deciding what to bake for a friend who prefers tart to chocolate, I would search for the perfect thing to bake in my beautiful green pan.

I was going to make lemon bars, but then somewhere in the fruit section of whole foods I stumbled across a bag of gems.

Meyer Lemons.  And with more enthusiasm than any one shopper should express in the produce section I had the best idea....

Candied Meyer Lemons.

For as in love with these as I now am they are dangerously easy to make.  Slice about 5 Meyer lemons thinly and boil them in simple syrup for about 20 minutes.  Strain lemons and lay out to cool before putting in the fridge. They will get chewier and more delicious as they cool.  When straining keep the liquid if you are so inclined.  I plan on using the lemon syrup to make hot toddies.....

As for the cake I made- I'm not even really sure what to call it, but it provides the perfect sweet base for your candied lemons.  Really more of a clafoutis than a cake, this "skillet" cake is moist, sweet, and light.  The key is pressing the lemon zest into the sugar, infusing it if you will with the essence of meyer lemon. Seems silly, I know, but at the end of the day there is nothing silly about this cake.

Meyer Lemon Skillet Cake 
Adapted from this site 
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
zest of 2 Meyer Lemons
juice of 2 Meyer lemons
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs slightly beaten
1/2 cup melter butter

Preheat oven to 350. Place pan on stove on low and add butter.  While butter is melting, zest and juice lemons. Add sugar and zest into a bowl and press zest into sugar, until well infused into the sugar.  Add eggs and vanilla and whisk  until light and fluffy. You can do this in a mixer, or with a whisk. I prefer whisk, but it takes about 3-5 minutes of beating.  Add in juice and mix again. Add flour and stir with rubber spatula until combined.  Pour in melted butter and stir. Pour batter back into skillet and put in oven. Bake at 350 for 20 to 25 minutes or until the batter starts to pull away from the sides of the skillet.  Top with candied lemons, let cool, and serve.

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