Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Meyer Lemon Upside-Down Cake

Can you believe I almost forgot to write a post tonight?  Actually, it wasn't that I forgot, per se, it was that I forgot it was Wednesday.  The week is flying by, and I completely lost track of what day it is.  Suddenly it was 8:30 and it hit me!

As you can see from the title, I am still infatuated by those beautiful Meyer lemons.  Although, I have moved on to some of the other delectable citrus fruit that is so perfect right now:  Blood Oranges, Minneolas, Cara Cara Oranges and Honey Tangerines.  The way I see it, peak citrus season coinciding with those frigid winter months is nature's way of apologizing to mankind.  I don't know about you, but I'm good with that.  And, by the way, if you haven't tried Honey Tangerines, do whatever you have to do to track some down.  They are unbelievably sweet, and on my short list of new favorite fruits.

Back to the Meyer lemons, I searched the internet to find some different recipes and came across this.  The picture was gorgeous, and based on that, alone, I had to try it.  My husband freaked out a little at the idea of eating the caramelized peels, but I convinced him to try it anyway.  The butter and sugar transform it to nothing short of candied peels with bursts of that signature Meyer lemon flavor.  Mmmmmmm!

Here's your Cast of Characters.

6 Small Meyer lemons (zest and juice 3 of the lemons)
1/2 Cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
3/4 Cup packed brown sugar
2 Cups flour
1 1/2 Teaspoons baking powder
1/2 Teaspoon salt
3/4 Cup Sugar
2 Eggs
1/2 Cup milk
1 Teaspoon sea salt flakes

I know you've seen measuring spoons before but I had to share these little beauties.  My best friend, Michelle, got them for me as part of my Christmas present, along with a couple of beautiful plates and tiny little silverware.  She figured they might come in handy while taking pictures for the blog.  Isn't she thoughtful?!

Preheat oven to 350.

Cut the remaining 3 lemons into 1/8" thick slices.  Remove seeds and set aside.  You should have about 30 slices.

Heat 4 tablespoons of butter in a 10" cast iron skillet or an ovenproof 10" saute pan until melted.  Brush the sides of the skillet with a little of the melted butter.

Add the brown sugar, stir until it is moistened with the butter and spread it into an even layer.

Arrange the lemon slices, slightly overlapping, to cover the bottom of the skillet.

Set aside.  Cut the remaining 6 tablespoons butter into a mixing bowl, along with the zest.  Beat the butter, scraping down the sides of the bowl, until creamy.

Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy.

Beat in the eggs one at a time.

Add half the flour, along with the baking powder and salt, and beat until well-blended.  Add milk and juice, and mix well.

Mix in the remaining flour, until well combined.

Sprinkle sea salt flakes evenly over the lemon slices.

The little bit of salty flavor enhances the sweetness of the caramelized lemon peels.

Carefully spread cake batter over the lemons.

Bake 30 - 40 minutes, or until the cake is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let the cake rest for 5 minutes before inverting onto a platter.

The cake should cool completely before serving.  If possible, make the day before as the flavor is much better the next day.  To serve, slice into wedges using a sharp knife that will cut easily through the peels.

The cake is denser, more like coffee cake.