It’s been unusually cold lately, cold enough to snow although we weren’t so lucky. Hard frosts for several days in a row left everything sparkling with minute crystals in the early mornings, the ground hard frozen, and we marveled at the layers of ice on the water troughs that had to be broken through.
The dreary overcast days indeed were dreary, but when the sun came out, I found myself longing to be out working in the bright brisk air, despite the cold.
The chickens have certainly noticed the increasing light on this side of the solstice. They are busy in the barn, the edges of hay bales, and the smoker, croaking at the hens who try to scootch into the nest before their turn, and cackling the news of a successful egg all morning. I couldn’t believe how many eggs we found yesterday.
And the lemons. Like little suns themselves, brightening my cold, dark kitchen. And they grow so abundantly here in the winter. Once the stove goes out, there’s no heat in the kitchen. One morning there was an icicle hanging from the tap, and we’re having to keep eggs in the fridge to keep them from freezing.
Cake is my favorite thing to make with too many eggs, because i know it will all get eaten very quickly, unlike a quiche, omelet or souffle, which can linger, unloved, sometimes.
Grain-free Lemon Cake
1 cup coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
1 cup honey
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Zest of 3 lemons (I used 3 large Meyer-type lemons)
1/2 cup lemon juice
- Prepare 2 layer cake pans by lining them with buttered parchment paper.
- Sift together the coconut flour, baking soda, and salt together in a large mixing bowl.
- In a small sauce pan, gently melt the butter and honey together. Remove from heat and add lemon juice, vanilla, and zest.
- In two separate bowls, separate 5 of the eggs, and add the other 5 whole to the bowl of yolks. Beat the yolks and whole eggs together, and add gradually to the dry ingredients, mixing carefully with a fork to avoid lumps.
- Add the melted butter and honey, stirring to avoid lumps.
- Beat egg whites into soft peaks and fold into the batter. Pour into prepared baking pans and bake for about 25 minutes at 350 F, until thoroughly cooked. Let cool before turning the layers out of the pan.
Lemon Syrup Filling
1 cup lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup honey
2 Tablespoons arrowroot flour or cornstarch, dissolved in:
1/4 cup water
- In a sauce pan, combine all ingredients except the water and arrowroot/ cornstarch
- Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Meanwhile, mix the arrowroot and water together with a fork.
- Add the arrowroot and water to the ingredients in the sauce pan while stirring vigorously with a fork. The mixture will become cloudy, and then clear again and thicken as the arrowroot cooks. Remove from heat and cool.
To assemble the cake, remove the cooked cake layers from the pans. Drizzle the lemon filling between the layers. You can frost the outside with 2 cups of whipped cream, and drizzle the leftover lemon filling on top in a sun pattern. You can skip the whipped cream and use coconut oil instead of butter for a dairy-free version.