For some reason, Spring seems to have triggered a hitherto dormant baking bug. It might have something to do with the warm fresh weather, the sparkling effervescent sunshine or the green earthy smell of the awakening garden with its blossoming wildflowers. Those wildflowers include a carpet of sunny-faced camomile just outside the back door which I showed in my post, The Tortoises are Back. Many of the flower heads have now been cut and are air drying, waiting to be used as tea – served, naturally, with cake.
In Spring I always get the urge to make my lemon poppyseed cake. This time it was baked in my fancy bundt pan.
When up-ended, all the pretty ridges are near perfect. A slice goes well with a cup of camomile tea.
Pear, lemon and cardamom cake came next. It was made using a modified version of our standard apple and cinnamon cake, a version with more spring-like flavours.
Baking segued into making plain scones. This isn’t something I do often as I tend to make my mother-in-law’s cheese scones. But I had this new batch of strawberry jam just waiting…
I thought I couldn’t go wrong with a recipe in Delia Smith’s classic 1978 cookbook, Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery Course. Reading through it, I was a bit puzzled by the lack of an egg in the mix, but a little internet searching assured me that plain scones were – in fact – made without egg in the batter. The result was a very white crumb. The next batch – with egg – came from that other doyen of British cooking, Mary Berry, with her recipe for Devonshire Scones. It also produced delicious fluffy scones, but with a slightly yellow crumb. Frankly, I couldn’t tell which tasted better. They were equally good.
Spiced hot cross buns were next, sourdough, naturally. My own version substituted fresh lemon zest instead of the usual dried fruit. I followed Maree Tink’s (Around the Mulberry Tree) advice and put the cross dough in a squeezy bottle. Worked perfectly! Not surprisingly, these HCB also go well with that strawberry jam. Just need to tweak the recipe a little and I’ll be posting it soon.
Earlier in the month, I initiated a series of posts on pies – Greek pites – both savoury and sweet, large and small. Below, these are tsigarista filled pitakia – little pies. Fried, not baked, but other pies we made were tucked away in the oven.
My pie obsession will, no doubt, culminate in those traditional sweet cheese pies, kalitsounia, made for Easter. Keep posted! I’m trying one with a softer dough this year. Oh, and more of those hot cross buns…