Today was the 86th birthday of my sainted Uncle Billy Guppy, God rest his soul! My Aunt Pauline and I had a date for doing toenails, and had planned to have our usual toenail-cutting-day-lunch of tomato soup. However, as she had mentioned the birthday to me, I thought a cake would be in order – nice lemon cake, and of course, some strawberry ice cream.
This is one of my favorite “make in minutes” cakes, and it has a little history. A very little, but a happy history. In 1974, my father gave me a Cuisinart food processor. At that time, they were very new, very expensive, and I wanted one desperately. But, as I said, they were very expensive, which eliminated me as a potential owner of one of these fabulous new machines. I don’t remember what the gift giving occasion was, but I think that it was a “no-occasion, just because I love you” sort of present. There were all kinds of warnings that came with it. They implied that it would be really easy to cut off a finger if one were not extremely careful. I was terrified, but thrilled every time I used it. I am much calmer now, as I realize that cutting off a finger would actually be pretty difficult. Yes, I am still using it, 37 years later. Can you believe it? At one time, I thought that if I ever got burgled, the first thing I would have to replace would be my food processor. When I actually did get burgled, I realized that the first thing I had to replace was my alarm clock. Fortunately, the burglars were not cooks and didn’t care about my kitchen equipment.
Along with the dire warnings, my dear machine came with a little recipe booklet, and several of the recipes became my meal-in-minutes standards. Sadly however, probably during a move, I lost the little booklet. I went to Fredrick and Nelson’s to see if the Cuisinarts there came with a booklet so that I could copy out the recipe. I explained my dilemma to the sales lady, and she helped me look, but alas, the then current booklet was newer and didn’t have the instructions for my cake. Imagine my surprise, when a couple of weeks later, I received the very booklet in the mail. The saleslady had written to the company to get a copy of the out-of-print booklet, and then sent it on to me. What a wonderful store Fredrick’s was. But that is a topic for another day.
Every time I want to make this cake, finding the booklet is a challenge, so I am sharing the recipe with you, thus making it easier for me to find when I want it.
Quick, Easy, Yummy Lemon Cake
125 grams granulated sugar (1/2 cup)
1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
2 large eggs
138 grams flour (1 cup minus 2 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon baking powder, stirred into the flour
½ cup confectioners sugar
Heat the oven to 350°. Prepare an 8 inch round pan, greasing and flouring it well. Zest the lemon, and place the zest in the bowl of the food processor. With the processor running, slowly add the sugar. Add the butter, and process till smooth. Add the eggs, processing about 20 seconds after each egg addition. Add the flour and baking powder all at once. Quickly pulse the processor 2 or 3 times – just until the flour disappears. Any longer will make the cake tough. Turn the batter into the pan and bake it for 20 minutes, or until the top springs back when lightly touched. Actually, I had to bake it for 30 minutes today, but usually it takes only 20. Cook the cake for a few minutes in the pan, and then cool on a cake rack.
While the cake is baking, squeeze the juice from the lemon, and mix the powdered sugar into it. When the cake has cooled a bit, spread the lemon juice mixture over the cake. I usually do this in several rounds.