When you have a surprise batch of lemons sent to you from your Mum in Cyprus, but they aren’t ripe, what do you do? Put them on a shelf to ripen, and then forget about them. Of course!
Well, that’s what I did anyway, so I figured the only way to use them up (you know me, hate wasting food) was to make a variation on Clementine Cake, as it involved simmering the fruit for two hours. That’ll rehydrate them I said!
Bless their lemony, pip populated hearts, after simmering for two hours they had plumped up very nicely and then the poor things deflated. One of them started puffing like a miniature steam train when they were simmering, though I'm fairly sure Thomas didn't smell cleanly of citrus.
These particular lemons are from my Mum’s tree. They are extremely thin skinned, and full of pips, but very juicy. This is the baking aftermath, so yes, a lot of pips for 5 lemons there.
Because it’s me, I made changes. To be fair, I have made this before, exactly to the recipe, so I felt that I was allowed some tweaks.
I had just over 1lb of fruit, so I used them all. In hindsight (which is always 20/20) I should have added more ground almonds but hey ho.
16 oz lemons
5 medium eggs (I hate anything that’s too eggy)
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
2 cups ground almonds
1/4 cup coconut flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
2 tsp Sicilian lemon extract (Hey, you’re both islands, you get to be in the same recipe. No fighting.)
After de-pipping, everything went into the food processor, got whirled around until the lumps disappeared, and then poured into a tin. You could actually do this without a food processor as the fruit gets so very soft. Just chop it as finely as you can.
I lined the tin with non-stick foil, as I’d run out of non-stick liner.
I am now in love with non-stick foil.
After trying not to just eat the batter, I baked it for the full hour, at the temperature specified in Nigella’s recipe, and a skewer came out clean. It is, however, very fudgy. It is definitely a pudding cake. Smooth in texture, but tart in taste. The vanilla smooths the edges off the tartness, making it taste almost like a creamy lemon marmalade.
Husband liked it, so that, to me, is a total win.
I will make it again with lemons, but up the almonds a bit more.