Saturday, August 15, 2015

Lemon Queen Cakes and birthday season memories

Hello everybody! The Fresh Pioneer is back and this is a redo recipe from 2012, but it's a delicious recipe that will knock your socks off. (Your blood sugar will never forgive you, but that's another story.)
 Edna kept talking about 'queen' cakes. They sounded good until she got to the part about them being not quite cooked. WHAT???
 So, I had to try it out. I've always been told that the cake MUST BE COOKED completely. If I'd known raw cake was okay to serve, I wouldn't have had to poke so many cakes in my life. All those little sticks. All those little holes. All those wasted minutes.

If this worked out, I might never have to time a cake again. I'd just cook it... halfway.
Beat together (Isn't that the way all good recipes start??)
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tbs grated lemon zest. MMMMM.
4 eggs separated (no lawyer needed)
Add to this mixture
1/2 cup lemon juice
3/4 cup flour
1 1/4 cup whole milk
1/4 tsp salt
Whisk the leftover egg whites until fluffy and fold into batter gently.
Pour into buttered ramekins.
I think you actually have to have them for this recipe. Edna said these could be cooked into oven safe teacups, but that kind of glassware is RARE around here. :) Vintage glass like this... if you see it, snatch it up and make queen cakes!
Set each ramekin in an inch or so of water.
30-32 minutes at 350, until firm on top. Here's the thing, there's no need to poke them! The bottom is pudding! Crazy, huh? I guess it gets hot enough that the uncooked cake won't kill you. Edna was telling me the bottom is like the best lemon cream I've ever tasted.

I was still thinking, "RAW! DANGER!" (Look at those pretty food poisoning microbes!)
 But hey, Edna knows best.
So, now whip 4 egg whites, 1 cup sugar, and 1/8 tsp salt into a stiff meringue. Add it to the top. Now, if you have one of those uber-cool kitchen blow torches, now would be the time to bring that out. But I did not. so I put it in the oven under broil.
Uhhhhhh, apparently there's approximately a 1.3 second window for the browning of the meringue. The leisure you gain by not having to actually poke the cake is taken back from you ten-fold with the meringue.
Ok, this is better, now that I know I actually have to PAY ATTENTION.
So, here's the bottom of one of the cakes.
Layers of meringue, lemon cake, and then a smooth lemon pudding... Really, really fancy. I can see why they call them 'queen cakes'!

So, it's birthday season here and we've had SO MUCH CAKE.
 And we love looking back at pictures. Here's my fourth, named after both my brothers, being a "super baby"!
 Here is he being wrapped as a mummy when we studied the Egyptians. He was such a good sport about having his brains pulled out his nose.
An early reader...
Who loved to play in the mud.
 And here he is now, with the chess set he bought with his birthday money. He can already beat me and he just learned how to play on Tuesday. But that probably says more about my chess skills than his.
And there was our second baby's birthday. Here she is in her "boiled beet" phase. My oldest is wondering what sort of cat we've brought home for her.
Has always loved animals.... cats, dogs, chickens.
She always sewed her stuffed animals costumes. Here is a kitty playing Hamlet. (If found another in the bathtub in a diaphanous gown- Ophelia.) 
Here she is, posing with her "coming home" outfit, made for tiny babies.
She still sketches and doesn't go very many places without her satchel of art supplies but now a lot of work is done on her Wacom bamboo digital tablet, named "Mr. Wickham". (You have to keep a tight reign on him or he'll abscond with your work.)
She's learning to tell a story through art, not only words. 
 Sometimes the characters have a lot of power.
 Sometimes they're a little confused. (This is a self portrait/cartoon.LOL)

We'll share more birthday photos next week if we're not all dead by overdosing on cake. We're off to explore our city's fair, called Muddy Frogwater Country Days. Not much there but they do have a great salmon bake and corn roast. I'll share pictures if I remember to take a some before we eat!
So, wishing you all a happy end to summer! 


  1. I love watching kids grow up! It's a fascination, a blessing and better than animated pages, slowed-down. When we sorted pics to get rid of boxes of pics, I made Mandy and Beth come help because to me, each picture has a STORY.... and I was taking forever. For them? It was more "Luke's box... Sarah's box.... Zach's box... " Etc. And it worked! That was like TEN BOXES gone from the attic. I love these pics, Virginia! #happy

    1. Last year, my dad gave us each an album of old pictures that he'd sorted. It's fun to flip through it from beginning to... when everything started to go digital!
      Something we're losing is the idea of a physical album. :(

  2. Fantastic post on two accounts. One -- I have an abundance of eggs and lemons in my kitchen right now and I was wondering what to do with them BUT I don't have ramekins. Do you think I could use muffin tins?

    And the pictures are amazing. Your daughter's artwork -- incredible! She's talented. Should be illustrating children's books or graphic novels right now!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. I think it would work if you set it in water. I think that's the important part. You can use any small pieces of pyrex, too. Or old milk glass, if you have vintage wear. Just no fine china or new dishes that aren't oven safe.
      And who ever has an abundance of lemons?? I'm so jealous!
      She does have two separate sites where she posts a running web comic but aside from registering to view the comic, it's a free service.
      And a daily comic that continually cracks me up. It's called "Ask Benji", and Benji is a wise old hamster asking questions posed by the Nonny Mouses. They ask all sorts of bone-headed questions because they seek to one day become a wise old hamster, too.
      I feel quite a kinship with the Nonny Mouses.

  3. I love your birthday posts. They're some of my favorites of the whole year.

    I have to admit to being a little doubtful on the uncooked part. Maybe it has to do with those lovely green bacteria pictures. LOL

    THIS - Muddy Frogwater Country Days - I want to hear more about. I saw your FB post about making it through the crowds and wondered what it was all about.

    1. Actually, Muddy Frogwater is only a few blocks from my house, at the city park. The crowd I mentioned is a different direction. :) The Gentlemen of the Road Tour is in Walla Walla this weekend. Close to twenty thousand revelers have descended, complete with camping gear and alternative views on recreational drugs. Eek. Think Woodstock, but with less mud and hopefully more clothing.
      We needed to attend a baptism party on the East side of WW, so that meant driving through town (or thirty minutes around it). I kept checking the fb feeds and it seemed as if it wasn't really an issue, sine most people came in to the airport (there are people here from Europe to see this bands, can you imagine?), took buses and taxis and are staying put within walking distance.
      And it wasn't too bad! A little bit of traffic near the center but that was probably because of the detours.
      It's hard to explain how shocking it is, but Jan posted something like it when the biker enthusiasts came to her town. WW has 35K people. It doubled in size this weekend. :) We're not used to having to share the sidewalk with more than one or two other people, haha.

    2. Sorry, more than 30K people arrived here. Not 20K. Very fun but I'm glad I'm a few miles away from the excitement. (Even though I'd like to go see Mumford and Son. I do love them...)

  4. Wow, Virginia! Your daughter is so talented!! I loved her drawings. Enjoyed the kids photos as well--like always! :)

    1. Thanks, Missy! They've been good sports about letting me post about them. I only have one shy one in the bunch. A miracle! lol