The first weekend of 2012 brought freshly shucked oysters, crisp California wine, sweet sunshine, and some of the best company a lady could ask for.
It was also a weekend filled with warm fires, burritos galore, and lots of backyard-grown Meyer lemons.
Backyard citrus trees. Why California rocks – number 486. Meyer lemons are the darlings of the lemon world. They are super juicy with a slightly sweet flavor and have a beautiful golden yellow skin. I was honored to receive two bags of these über-local and freshly-picked little beauties to bake with to my hearts content.
My brain has been dreaming about a baked good with a lemon and pine nut combination for a good long while now. I have a fondness for simple cakes that are full of flavor but only require a whisk and a bowl. I didn’t want to interfere with the simplicity of the cake but I wanted to include pine nuts; thus the buttery nut crumble was born.
With bright lemon flavor and a dense but tender crumb, this cake is everything you want on your dessert plate for a morning treat, with afternoon tea, or as the perfect secret midnight snack.
Meyer Lemon Yogurt Cake with Toasted Pine Nut Crumble
Makes one 9-inch cake
Inspired by Ina Garten
For the crumble:
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup pine nuts
4 tablespoons butter, cold and cut into small pieces
zest from one Meyer lemon
For the cake:
1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup Greek yogurt
3/4 cup sugar
juice + zest from two Meyer lemons
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup vegetable oil
Preheat the oven to 350 and generously butter and flour a springform pan. Lightly toast the pine nuts in a small dry skillet on medium high for about 3 to 5 minutes or until lightly brown. Let cool and then roughly chop the nuts.
Combine the flour, brown sugar, salt, and chopped pine nuts in a small bowl. Using your fingers, rub the butter into the dry ingredients until large clumps form. Then let the crumble chill in the fridge while you make the cake.
In a medium bowl mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl whisk the yogurt, sugar, eggs, zest, juice, vanilla and oil until combined. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the yogurt mixture until incorporated. Pour into the prepared pan and sprinkle the crumble evenly over the cake.
Bake for 55 minutes or until a tester comes out clean and the top is lightly browned.
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