Friday, December 27, 2013

Readers Requested Recipes

I hope all of you are having a wonderful, relaxing, revitalizing & tasty Holiday season.

Over the past few days I have posted a few favorite holiday dishes - I use them because they are just my kind of seasonal, easy and delicious recipes.  At this time of year I spend a lot of time in the kitchen as I know many of you do as well. As a matter of fact, even when friends and family are here, and I am not cooking, I am in the kitchen!  It really is the place where folks gather isn't it? That said, it is nice to exit the kitchen once in awhile - but when we're entertaining, I have a dickens of a time moving the group out! I bring this up because it is my goal to have as much cooked, baked and finished when guests arrive or else in our small home it looks like I'm conducting a cooking class! So the recipes I choose are almost always done or just need a few steps to be complete when folks arrive.

I was so happy to hear from a number of folks requesting the recipes for some of the recent dishes I posted on my Facebook page. So, let's start with a favorite and versatile dessert that is always a hit and really straightforward and easy to put together. And it is even better if you make it the day before you are going to serve it!

Recipe:  Pisciotta - Olive Oil Cake with a Limoncello Glaze (adapted from the late, great Marcella Hazan) 


Two large eggs
One half cup, plus 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
The zest of one lemon
Kosher salt
1/3 cup dry Marsala (not something we always have around, so I have substituted cognac, and once, bourbon)
One third of a cup of whole milk
Three fourths of a cup of extra virgin olive oil
One eighth of a cup of extra virgin olive oil - for greasing the cake pan
One tablespoon of baking powder 
One and one half cups of all purpose flour
A round cake pan


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
Break the eggs into a bowl and whisk them with the all of the sugar - you want a pale, foamy mixture so whisk well.  You can also use a mixer.
Add the lemon zest, a pinch of salt, the Marsala, the milk, and the 3/4 cup of olive oil. Whisk a bit to incorporate.
Mix the baking powder with the flour and add it to the other ingredients. Mix well.
Smear the baking pan with the rest of the olive oil and pour the batter into the pan.

Bake in the upper third of your oven for 50 minutes.

The cake is done when a toothpick comes out clean when pushed into the center of the cake.

When the cake has cooled for about 10 minutes, brush about a half cup of Limoncello liqueur all over the cake.  Wait a minute or two between brushings. 

Note:  If I have berries - strawberries or blueberries work best - and I have the time, I make a "Berry Concasse" to pour over slices of the cake.  Just chop the berries, add sugar to taste, and a shot or two of Cointreu or Triple Sec and bring the berries to a boil. Lower the heat to medium/low, stirring regularly until the mixture thickens.  Store in the refrigerator and remember to take it out about a half hour before service.


Next Post:  Bourbon Chicken Liver Pate

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