Friday, April 16, 2010

French Lemon Cake with Strawberry Glaze

French Lemon Cake with optional Strawberry Glaze
As shared from the kitchen of Once Upon a Plate
Makes one 8-inch, single layer cake
I don't know why this cake is called "French", perhaps because it is a single layer and doesn't rise much ~ but it I do know that it is one of the easiest cakes to make because the batter is mixed together in the bowl of a food processor.
My mother used to make this recipe and I believe it was from "Bon Appetit" magazine from the 1970's when home food processors were introduced to home cooks here in the U.S. As with many food processor cakes, it's a little sturdier (not quite as delicate) as traditionally made cakes.

The original recipe is delicious with just the sweeten lemon juice finish and maybe a dollop of whipped sweetened cream or ice cream. But to make it a little more special you can add a fruit glaze or fresh fruit.
Method:Position oven rack to center position
Preheat oven to 350*
Grease and flour an 8-inch square or round cake pan (or pan of equivalent capacity.)

Ingredients:1 lemon (peel zest from lemon using a vegetable peeler), and juice the lemon, reserve juice for finish
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 stick butter (4 ounces), cut into 4 pieces
2 eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour, less 2 Tablespoons
Mix 1 teaspoon baking powder into the flour

Lemon juice glaze:
Reserved juice from the lemon mixed with
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar (powdered sugar)

In the bowl of food processor process lemon zest strips with granulated sugar, process a few seconds until zest is "grated".

Add butter pieces to bowl and process until well combined. Add eggs, one at a time, until each is blended in. Scrape bowl with spatula. Mix 1/2 of the flour/baking powder mixture to the bowl and pulse (turn the machine on & off) 2 or 3 times, scrape bowl with spatula. Add remaining flour and pulse until combined.

Scrape batter from bowl into prepared pan and bake into prepared pan. Bake on center rack of oven for 18 to 25 minutes. (Oven and the shape/size of pan will affect the time it takes cake to be done.) I begin checking at 12 minutes. Bake until edges are lightly golden and a pick inserted into center of cake comes out clean, with no wet batter.

While cake is still warm, mix lemon juice with confectioner's sugar and spoon mixture over cake, then repeat with any remaining mixture ~allowing lemon juice to seep into the cake slowly.
Optional Fruit Glaze:
1 to 1 1/2 cups fruit jam (I like either Strawberry, Raspberry or Apricot for this cake)

If you want a very thin glaze, melt the jam and a tablespoon or two of water ~or substitute a liqueur of your choice (such as Grand Marnier) in a pot over medium heat. Stir and cook until mixture completely melted and fairly smooth, cool just slightly then spread on top of cake while mixture is still warm (it will thicken further upon cooling.)
For a thicker glaze (as shown in picture) Make a slurry from 2 teaspoons corn starch mixed into 2 Tablespoons of water and mix into melted jam in the pot, cook and stir until mixture thickens, cool slightly then spread evenly on top of cake. Topping will thicken upon cooling.)

Serve with sweetened whipped cream, or ice cream if desired.

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