Saturday, January 9, 2010

Lemon Buttermilk Cake

Lemon Buttermilk Cake

It's citrus season in California. My trees are full of ripe grapefruits, tangerines, limes and oranges. Alas my new little lemon tree is fruitless, but there are plenty of lemons to be had from friends and neighbors.

 My oldest daughter, Mimi Jr., made this lemon buttermilk cake for me this week. She is turning into a very fine baker. Mimi J found the basic recipe  in an old issue of Bon Appetit magazine (February 2005). As this delicate lemon  cake bakes  a  lemon curd  sauce forms on the bottom of the baking dish. The cake is so velvety smooth it melts in your mouth. The lemon sauce has just the right tang, to balance the sweetness of the cake and the blueberries are the perfect finishing touch.  This cake is like sunshine in a dish and  will surely make your winter  a little warmer.

Lemon Buttermilk Cake
adapted from Bon Appetit

1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 cup sugar divided
4 large egg yolks
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 large egg whites.
Fresh berries
Whipping cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. butter an 8x8x2 inch glass baking dish. Blend buttermilk, 1/2 cup sugar egg yolks lemon juice, flour, butter and salt in blender until smooth.
Using an electric mixer beat egg whites until soft peaks form.  Gradually add remaining 1/2 cup sugar and beat until stiff but not dry.  Gently fold the buttermilk mixture into white in 3 additions, batter will be runny.
Pour batter into prepared dish.  Place dish in a roasting pan. Pour enough not water into roasting pan to come half way up the sides of dish.  Bake until entire top is evenly browned and cake moves very slightly in center but feels slightly springy to touch, about 45 minutes.  Remove dish from roasting pan, place dish on cooling rack and cool cake completely. Refrigerate 3-6 hours, until cold. Serve with fresh berries and lightly whipped cream.