Sunday, April 29, 2012

Recipe for Almond Angel Food Cake with Blackberry Curd for #BakeTogether

Almond  Angel Food Cake with Blackberry Curd

April has been a busy month. I started a new job after more than a year of the housewife life. I enjoyed my little break but it was time to get back into the working world.

It’s a writing post in the fundraising world, something I can feel good about every day. What I did not anticipate was the actual adjustment the job would require. Deciding who would get up first (I do, at 5:30 am, which is drastic to friends who know me well), making sure the rabbit’s morning routine is disrupted as little as possible (he has adjusted beautifully), remembering to pack a lunch.

Where, when and how to fit in exercise (right now it’s after work). And how to sit down to a healthy supper before 8 pm. I haven’t yet figured that out.

I’m trying to carve a sweet and balanced life for my family.  I’ve slowed a bit in posting here, but hope to resume a more regular schedule once I’ve figured out a new rhythm.

Coincidentally, April is the one year anniversary for Dust with Flour. Thank you, dear readers, for visiting and leaving such kind comments along the way. I’d wanted to start a blog for many years but the workaday life was a hurdle. I was definitely baking, but it didn’t get beyond that.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

TWD: Lemon Loaf Cake from Baking with Julia

Lemon Loaf Cake with Three-Citrus Curd
While I derive a certain thrill from tackling complicated dishes, I never tire of simple recipes that deliver rewards in flavor and reliability.

Meet my new low maintenance friend, this Lemon Loaf Cake from Baking with Julia.

This citrusy loaf bears all the traits we love about pound cake — a fine, even crumb surrounded by a sturdy, tender crust. What I really appreciate is that this impressive richness must’ve been designed with busy cooks in mind.

For one thing, you can mix this beauty in one bowl. No need for a stand mixer. I used a whisk and switched to a spatula at the very end.

Curd made with lemon, lime and blood orange.

Meyer lemon, Persian lime, and Moro orange zests.

Not only will you dirty fewer dishes, but you don’t have to plan too far in advance. For instance, there’s no need to set the butter out to soften. You melt it and then let it cool, which doesn’t take very long at all. The melted butter is added as a final step — which differs from many traditional cake recipes in which softened butter is creamed with either sugar or eggs as a first step.

That one little difference makes me happy. I cannot count the times I’ve started to bake a cake only to realize the butter is still very, very cold.

I followed the recipe as written, except I used the zest from three fruits — Meyer lemon, Persian lime, and Moro orange. While the cake was in the oven, I juiced the fruit and made a lemon, lime and orange curd in the microwave using the super easy recipe Lemon Curd for the Easily Distracted.

And there you have it. A simple but elegant pound cake made with a minimum of fuss.

Today’s Lemon Loaf Cake is being hosted by Truc at Treats and Michelle of The Beauty of Life. Visit their blogs to get the recipe. While you’re at it, visit the sites of other Tuesdays with Dorie bloggers.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Pizza Rustica with Cheese and Pesto for Tuesdays with Dorie

Pizza Rustica filled with ricotta, mozzarella and pesto

For years I put off making Pizza Rustica, avoiding what I thought was a high maintenance ordeal. I’m not sure where I got that idea because this was one of the easiet pies I’ve ever made, savory or sweet.

I know you’re thinking this doesn’t look like pizza, but this deep-dish, lattice-topped pie is Neapolitan in origin. The fillings might include all cheese, or a combination of meats, or vegetables such as spinach and chard. For my vegetarian household, I omitted the recipe’s proscuitto, and added more mozzarella. I also spread a layer of spinach-basil pesto between the filling.

The pastry crust is pasta frolla — an Italian tradition that calls for flour, butter, sugar and egg. It was a joy to work with — yes, I meant to use that word. Not touchy and overly sensitive. Amiable.

While you might think a savory filling would not work with this slightly sweet crust, trust me, the combination is very tasty. And I think the time is right for such a flavor contrast, what with the popularity of sweet-salty partnerships cropping up in the blogosphere and elsewhere.

I will definitely make this recipe again, experimenting with fillings. I can’t wait to use the pasta frolla in a pie of summer fruit.

This Baking with Julia recipe is from pastry chef and author Nick Malgieri. The recipe is hosted by Emily of Capital Region Dining and Raelynn of The Place They Call Home so go on over there and see how to make your own. Click right here to see the works of 300-some participating Tuesdays with Dorie bakers.

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