We had a wonderful New Year’s Eve dinner with my family. We had a big ham bone from a ham Ethan brined, so I made the traditional Southern New Year’s meal: Black-eye peas (with the ham bone), cornbread, and greens (turnip greens this time – I think they are supposed to be collards). The peas are supposed to represent silver, the cornbread is gold, and the greens are money. It’s a lucky meal to start the new year off. I added some ambrosia fruit salad, too, because we still had so many grapefruits from PJ.
Because the food was all easy to make ahead, we spent most of the day working at the farm. We got so much done! I cleared out weeds and built two new beds and planted the rest of my winter starts over the weekend. We worked on a big project in the barn, and got it all done. Then we came home for dinner, did tarot readings for everyone who wanted one, lit off a few fireworks with the children, and got to bed fairly early – a great way to start the year!
For a special dessert, I tried out my new glass cake pan and made a grain-free calamondin cake by modifying an old recipe from a family friend who was from the Florida Keys. Her recipe was practically 90% sugar, but this one is sweetened with honey.
Grain-free Calamondin Cake
For the Cake:
1 cup plus 1 Tablespoon coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup butter
1 cup honey
1. Butter cake pan and pre-heat oven to 350 F
2. Sift together coconut flour, salt and baking soda. Sifting several times helps to fluff up the coconut flour and make a lighter cake.
3. Separate 5 of the eggs and reserve the whites. Add the rest of the eggs whole to the yolks. Beat the eggs with the vanilla extract until smooth and yellow.
4. In a small sauce pan, melt the butter and honey together over low heat. While they are melting, prepare the calamondins:
5. Slice each calamondin in half and squeeze the seeds and juice into a cup, and save the skins. Make sure all the seeds are out of the skins! Strain the juice, and set aside. Grind the skins up to a pulp in the food processor, adding about half the juice. Pour the pulp and juice in with the melted butter and honey.
6. Let the butter and honey cool a little while you whip up the reserved egg whites until they have stiff peaks.
7. Now mix the butter/honey/calamondins in with the dry ingredients and stir well. When it is well mixed, add about half the eggs and stir. Add the rest of the eggs and mix well. This helps keep the batter smooth to add them in halves.
8. Fold in the egg whites. Pour into the pan and bake at 350 F for 30-45 minutes. Allow cake to cool completely before carefully turning out onto a dish.
For the Filling:
1 cup cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup honey
1. Prepare calamondins as described above – by slicing in half, squeezing out the juice and saving the skins, grinding the skins in a food processor with about half the juice.
2. Cream butter and cream cheese together. Add honey and mix well until smooth.
3. Slowly add calamondin pulp and mix very well.
4. To fill cake, carefully slice the top off and set aside. Make two cuts along the middle and the inside, all the way around. Using a spoon, scoop out the middle of the cake. Pour filling inside the cavity, and replace the top. Pour the last of the filling over the top of the cake. Chill well.