It’s funny how things work out, isn’t it? I don’t know what it’s called, really. Probably has lots of names. You know, like the time you don’t plan anything but need to talk to someone. You run into a dear friend in the supermarket who suggests you both grab a coffee. Or the time you see the perfect puppies for sale in last week’s newspaper and you phone the number thinking you’ve missed out but there’s one left. She turns out to be your best friend.
This cake is like that. I decided to bake the Torta di Limone in the continuation of my personal challenge of baking my way through A Baker’s Odyssey by Greg Patent. It’s a gorgeous Italian torta with the fresh flavour of lemon enhanced by a drizzle of my homemade limoncello. Searching for my regular round baking pan I came across the battered pan I inherited from my husband’s late grandmother. I love that it is dented and a little out of shape with a few impossible to remove stains but it is scrubbed until shiny inside. This pan completely emulates Nonna Lucia and her style of cooking – rough but thorough producing incredible meals, cakes and cookies with ease and not a written recipe in sight. And today as I share with you this torta, I realise it’s the six month anniversary of her passing. At 98, she lived a long and full life which was at times very hard but she left a legacy, a gift, her love, her endurance and her honesty. Today a silent tear will drop.
Even the first lemons on my new lemon tree were just ripe and full of juice.
And the rind was fragrant and fluorescent yellow.
Yes, all the stars were aligned. This is how it happens sometimes, isn’t it?
Torta di Limone
Makes 8 servings
2 large eggs
7 tablespoons (100g) granulated sugar
7 tablespoons (105mls) whole milk
7 tablespoons (105mls) extra virgin olive oil
9 tablespoons (130g) all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
finely grated zest of 2 lemons
3 tablespoons (45mls) lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 350F/160C. Grease an 8 inch/20cm round cake pan and line the base with a circle of baking paper. Grease or spray the paper then dust the pan with flour and shake out the excess.
Cover the eggs (yes, still in their shells) with hot water and let them sit for 5 minutes.
Now you need to get a few thing ready
I like to sift dry ingredients onto a sheet of baking paper (saves on washing up). So sift the flour, baking powder, and salt.
In a small bowl combine the milk and olive oil.
Dry the eggs and crack into a medium bowl. Add the sugar and whisk for 1 minute. Add the combined olive oil and milk.
Gently whisk in the dry ingredients until the batter is just smooth. Whisk in the lemon rind and juice.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the cake is firm and a skewer inserted comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before turning out on a wire cooling rack. Cool completely.
Before serving dust with icing sugar and if you want to guild the lily as we did drizzle each slice with limoncello.