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Old 12-31-2007, 11:57 AM   #1
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Lemon Upside-Down Cake

Here's what I'm hoping to make for New Year's Day with my meyer lemons that are ready to pick:

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(it's from the LA Times)

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Old 12-31-2007, 12:35 PM   #2
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yum! I bought some Meyer lemons Saturday!
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Old 12-31-2007, 01:05 PM   #3
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Up to now, I knew nothing about Meyer Lemons. Looks like I should learn more, at least to recognize them when I see them in the market. From this photo, they look at least as much like small oranges as lemons. Accurate?
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Old 12-31-2007, 01:13 PM   #4
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Oh, that looks fantastic, jkath!

I've been dying to try meyer lemons, so I'll be looking for them, too! And I'm always glad to have an excuse to use a vanilla bean before it dries out.

Thank you!

Lee
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Old 01-02-2008, 12:53 PM   #5
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Here's a photo of the cake:



It was quite tasty, but I need to change it up a bit, for a little lighter cake consistency. Maybe Michael can help with that one!

Robgrave, meyers come in different sizes, but mine are mostly golden color to golden orange at their ripe stage, and they're much larger than regular lemons. If you can ever get some, make sure you use the rind as well, since it's so sweet.

I just went out this morning and picked a few more bags of them. I'm up to 264 picked, and there's at least another 150-200 on the tree.
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Old 01-02-2008, 04:52 PM   #6
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What beautiful cake!!! And thank you for the info about Meyer lemons. I don't think I've ever seen them in the produce market here in the Detroit area...then again, I didn't notice Pumello grapefruit until a few months ago, and I'm sure they've been around much longer than that. You see what you're looking for, I guess. I'll be on the lookout for the Meyer variety from now on, and maybe, just maybe give that cake a try. I'm not sure I'm enough of a baker to pull it off, but it sho' nuff do look worth the effort. Bravo!
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Old 01-02-2008, 06:22 PM   #7
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Thanks - (and it's easier than it looks...always a good thing when you're bringing dessert to someone's home)

I think maybe next time it would be fun to use orange slices between the lemons, for a variegated look...then again, the addition of a blood orange would be pretty too....or maybe a lime...!
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Old 01-02-2008, 06:25 PM   #8
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Hey...wouldn't this be a nice switch with your oranges? And I love the blood orange idea. that would be gorgeous.
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Old 01-04-2008, 11:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkath
... It was quite tasty, but I need to change it up a bit, for a little lighter cake consistency. Maybe Michael can help with that one! ...
Thanks for the vote of confidence jkath - however, I'm really not a cake baker (except for my grandmother's chocolate sheet cake) ... but, "I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night!" reading Shirley Corriher's Cookwise ...

From my experiences, upside-down cakes tend to be a little denser - except for the ones the lunch ladies at school used to make from box mixes (Jiffy white or yellow cake mixes) - years ago.

Using the same recipe - you might be able to lighten it up a little by changing the technique in the recipe.

First -make sure your baking powder is not outdated. Then, sift your dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt) together. You might also try using cake flour instead of all-purpose flour.

The leavening comes primarily from creaming the butter and sugar together - this creates a lot of little air bubbles - and takes about 5 minutes with an electric mixer (the creaming instructions for old totally by hand cakes call for about an hour with the spoon and bowl method). If I remember what Shirley said correctly - the baking powder will not create air bubbles - it will only expand the bubbles that already exist. And, yes, scrape down the bowl frequently.

If you are going to use a vanilla bean - I would split the bean, scrape the seeds out into the milk, and add the bean pods to the milk. Bring this up to a simmer to scald the milk (180F) and then remove from the heat and allow to cool. When cool - remove the bean pods, and proceed.

Now, the instructions say to "beat" the mixture as you add the dry ingredients to the wet. I would cut that back to a lower speed to just "mix" the ingredients throughly - once you add the wet and dry ingredients together "beating" (or more especially over beating) will increase the gluten formation - which will increase the density of the cake.

Sorry jkath - I'm working totally from memory here ... I still have not found the boxes my cookery books are in out in the garage after the move ... but, hope this helps or gives you some ideas.

I was really hoping one of our cake bakers would have spoken up by now - but I answered so you wouldn't think I was ignoring you.
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Old 01-05-2008, 01:07 AM   #10
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I knew I could count on you!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael in FtW View Post
... but, "I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night!"


The baking powder was brand spankin' new, so I don't need to worry about that, however, I love the idea of using Swan's Down flour instead of AP! Great thinking!

I did cream the butter and sugar for what seems like ever (Grandma taught me that one) including the scraping down.
I did leave out the vanilla bean. After I began the recipe, I realized my jar was empty. But I'm sure that wasn't any reason for non-fluffiness. I betcha it was the flour.

As for the beating, I'm of the Alton Brown schooling:
sift dry ingreds always, and then mix them in, by doing it in 3 batches.
After the first, beat slowly, just till the mixture's wet. Then repeat 2 times.

Overbeating is bad, except on a dirty rug.

I'll try the recipe again soon, and make a note of it's consistency here.

Again, thank you so much!!
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