While I was reading a post last week at racheleats about making crackers, Rachel mentioned that Rome was experiencing spring-like weather and that she was going to be picking lemons later in the day.
We were in the middle of another snow storm with 12 inches already dumped on us. With another full day of snow expected, I thought that making these gorgeous crackers was a great way to spend the afternoon. I was prepared to do just that. But somehow I just could not get the thought of spring time in Rome or the beautiful scent of lemons out of my head.
My thoughts started to drift towards all the wonderful food I could make with a few lemons. Citrus is always plentiful in the winter, and the bright color and intoxicating aroma of a bowl of lemons was enticing. Because of the severe weather this winter on the East Coast, the cost of these beauties has skyrocketed. I've seen the cost of one lemon as high as 80 cents this season. But a trip to the local vegetable market after the roads were cleared scored me eight lemons for $2.
Lemons are so versatile for use in both sweet and savory dishes that my options were vast--Marcella Hazan's fettucine with lemon cream sauce; risotto with lemon zest; Neiman Marcus' Zodiac Room's famous lemon bars; lemon ice cream; lemon martinis. This was going to be tough. Sweet won out though.
I have been experimenting of late with using olive oil in baked goods. It seems to be the it thing among pastry chefs, and many recipes have been showing up on various sites online. I have been baking pastry chef, Gina DePalma's, Cinnamon Breakfast Toasts , which include olive oil, for quite some time with great success. Also, I love her Torta di Mandorla. But this was to be all about the citrus.
I came across a recipe for Lemon Olive Oil cake posted here which sounded great.
The cake went together quickly, and the batter smelled delicious. Forty minutes later the cake was out of the oven and cooling.
Finally, the cake was ready for a taste test.
I guess I'll just have to try again. I know it's a tough job, but somebody has to do it.