Most everyone “collects” something. That’s why Pinterest is so hot now. It is basically a community that shares collections of images and ideas on virtual pin boards. However, for those that collect tangible items, it is not enough to just see a picture– you must possess the item. Some people travel the world to collect that special piece of art. Some collect to build something large to gaze upon – such as a library of special books. I know someone that collects outboard motors. Seriously???…
During the early 60’s & 70’s, my mother got into collecting food brand-name dolls, such as the Jolly Green Giant, the Pillsbury Dough Boy, Mr. Peanuts, Tony the Tiger, and the Campbell Soup kids.
I collect cookbooks and recipes.
I read through my cookbooks as you would read a novel and then use them as a tool for cooking. I also collect for nostalgia-anything that evokes a memory from the 1950’s or earlier. It could be a food item or brand name that I may remember from my Aunt Edna’s kitchen or my Mom’s kitchen. In the “olden days” companies, such as Pillsbury, Swan’s or Sealtest would offer consumers small but colorful booklets containing recipes and product use ideas.
When I purchase a book, or receive one as a gift, I make a resolution to make at least one recipe from it within the first two weeks of owning it. Just like New Year’s resolutions, that time frame does not always work out.
The newest book given to me over this past Christmas season was “the smitten kitchen cookbook” by Deb Perelman. She is an award winning food blogger that has taken the blogging thing to the next level by producing a really great cookbook. She keeps it simple on many levels, from ingredients through the recipe instructions, and I like the story that goes along with each recipe.
I have finally had a chance to read through it, and, if you are counting, yes – it is way past the two weeks I set for myself to make something from it. In defense of that, the book actually did not arrive until the beginning of January.
It was a toss-up between two recipes – the “grapefruit olive oil pound cake” on page 241 and the “blueberry cornmeal butter cake” on page 245. I chose the grapefruit OO pound cake for many reasons: 1) her story and explanation of how the recipe came about; 2) grapefruit is a unique ingredient to use and the flavor combination can be tricky – plus I have a box in the basement also received as a Christmas gift; and 3) I love sweets – even though I’m trying to reduce my intake. Just seeing the words “grapefruit and olive oil” made me want to try it. Sounded healthy to me, even though its in the “sweets” section.
Full credit is given to the author for the recipe from her book. I have abbreviated it and added my notes. At the beginning of her book she explains that there is nothing fancy in the ingredients used in her recipes. Example: if you don’t have buttermilk you can make it–which I did. Or, as shown in this recipe, the suggested use of turbinado sugar can be substituted by using regular granulated.
Grapefruit Olive Oil Pound Cake
Heat oven to 350°
Butter* and flour a 9 x 5” loaf pan-*I tried coconut oil instead
Ingredients for Cake
1½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
2 tablespoons freshly grated grapefruit zest (from 1-2 large grapefruits)
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup raw or turbinado sugar (granulated can be used)
½ cup olive oil*
2 large eggs, at room temp
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons grapefruit juice
1/3 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt*
*Note-I had neither–took some light cream and added some vinegar.
*Olive oil – I used my good stuff from Italy, but as she says, regular-nothing fancy, will do.
In a large bowl, rub the grapefruit zest into the sugars with fingertips. Whisk in the oil until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, and whisk until combined. Scrape down the bowl.
In a second bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a liquid measuring cup, combine 2 tablespoons of grapefruit juice* and buttermilk. To the oil and sugar mixture, add the flour and the buttermilk mixtures, alternating between them, beginning and ending with flour. *NOTE-because I used a lemon juicer, I had pulp, so I mixed it in the batter.
Spread the batter in the buttered pan, smooth the top, and tap the pan on the counter a few times to ensure that there are no air bubbles trapped. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until a cake tester comes out clean.
Combine 2 tablespoons of sugar with 1/3 cup grapefruit juice in a small saucepan, and cook over low heat until sugar dissolves. (The juice is squeezed from the 2 grapefruit you used for zest)
When cake is finished, let it cool for 10 minutes in the pan before inverting onto a rack set over a tray. Poke holes in the cake with a skewer or toothpick and then spoon or brush the grapefruit syrup over the cake. Let the cake cool completely while it absorbs the syrup. NOTE-I put my cake right on the plate and poked the holes and put the syrup on it. I did not want to waste any.
Combine 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, 2 tablespoons of grapefruit juice and a pinch of salt in a bowl, whisking until smooth. NOTE-I also added some of the pulp. Pour the glaze over the top of the cooked cake, and allow glaze to drizzle down the sides of the cake.
Here is her very nice picture from the book:
Here are the pictures of my attempt at this recipe.
I am not sure why this happened-Maybe because I used coconut oil instead of butter to grease the pan, forgot to flour the pan, and I let the cake cool for 20 minutes instead of 10-edges were crumbly and…well, you see.
I used pink grapefruit so my glaze did not look as nice and white as in the book.
It was an enticingly superlicious moist cake with grapefruity flavor, topped off with a sugary-tangy sweet topping – a combination that worked. My taste-tester friends all liked it.
Please check out her blog www.smittenkitchen.com. Thank you Deb. I am adding this recipe to my collection.
Keep collecting my friends, but share with others.