While I was still working on the farm on Oahu I began to experiment with the bounty of fresh (free) fruits and veggies; one of the fruits that was always plentiful was lemons. One week in early December we harvested about 60 pounds of lemons from the three fruiting trees. Our crew sat in the lemon grove and sampled the lemons from each tree, cut with a pocket knife and eaten with dirty hands. It was really lovely to sample the different flavors and see the variation between the individual trees– some very sweet or too sour, golf-ball sized or softball sized, thick and thin skinned. We chatted about which ones would be best for the markets, for sale to stores, and which ones would be best for baking (my guesses were all wrong, sadly). During those weeks and now that I live in close proximity to a new lemon tree, I have juiced hundreds of lemons (by hand!); I use a little squeezer and mix the juice together in a bowl, then divide into smaller jars (some for freezer and some for the fridge). I’ve kept these fresh-squeezed juice in the fridge for many weeks without spoiling, and those frozen work just as well as the fresh.
These are some of the baking projects that I was finally able to try with an abundance of lemons! I have to admit that I don’t LOVE lemon flavored baked goods… but it is fun to experiment. So if my explanations seem a bit tepid, it’s not because of inadequate baked goods or quality, just my tastebuds rebelling against the lemon-sweet thing!
seeded lemon spelt scones (adapted from babycakes)
2 cups spelt flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 cup fine oat bran
1/2 cup ground macadamia nuts
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup agave nectar
2 tbsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp warm water
1/3 cup whole seeds (i used half chia, half golden flaxseeds)
mix up your dry ingredients, then add the (melted) coconut oil and agave nectar and mix well. add the lemon juice and mix until batter is smooth, then add in the seeds and mix until just incorporated. drop 1/4 cup-fuls onto your prepared baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes at 350.
meyer lemon bundt cake with cashew icing (directly from bittersweet)
this was the very first bundt cake I ever made- in my grandmother’s vintage bundt pan. it turned out beautifully, though I unfortunately did not get any photos. I think the secret is greasing + flouring the pan- which is much easier than it sounds.
1 Cup Plain Soymilk
Zest of 1 Meyer Lemon
1/2 Cup Freshly Squeezed Meyer Lemon Juice
1 1/4 Cups Light Agave Nectar (i know- a lot- but it’s worth it)
1/2 Cup Canola Oil
3 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
3/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda
3/4 Teaspoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Flax Seeds (these need to be ground up)
Icing (this is SOOOO good; make a double batch and drizzle on everything!)
1 1/2 Cups Roasted, Unsalted Cashew Pieces
1/3 Cup Light Agave Nectar
1/3 Cup Coconut Milk
1 Teaspoon Vanilla extract
Preheat your oven 350 degrees and lightly grease and flour a 12-cup capacity bundt pan.
First combine the soymilk, zest, and juice, and allow the mixture to sit for about 5 minutes. Add in the agave nectar and oil, and mix well.
In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and soda, and salt. Grind the flax seeds down into a fine meal, and incorporate them as well, so that the dry goods are all evenly distributed. Pour the wet mixture into the dry, and using a wide spatula, mix thoroughly with as few strokes as possible, being careful not to over-mix. Once you achieve a smooth batter, pour it into your prepared bundt pan, and smooth down the top evenly. Bake for approximately one hour, until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool completely before turning the cake out of the pan.
To prepare the icing, simply place all of the ingredients in your food processor or blender and let it blend until completely smooth. Be patient, as it could take up to five minutes… then drizzle over your cake as desired.
lemon coconut breakfast bars (directly from julie morris– superfood princess)
this is the first of Julie’s yummy foods I’ve tried, and I am pretty impressed. I liked the lemon bars as much as I can like lemon flavored stuff. the texture is nice with just the oat flour; another person commented that they used buckwheat with great results. I think this could be infinitely adapted to make yummy and hearty wheat free bars.
1½ Tbsp chia seeds
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 cup oat flour
½ tsp baking powder
pinch sea salt
¾ cup + 2 Tbsp shredded dried coconut, divided
2 Tbsp lemon zest
2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
2 Tbsp applesauce (i used apple butter)
¼ cup maple syrup or agave nectar
½ cup packed soft medjool or honey dates, pitted (about 8-9)
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Grease a 8×8” baking pan (i used coconut oil). In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice and chia seeds. Set aside for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl mix together the oat flour, baking powder, salt, and ¾ cup coconut flakes. Sprinkle in the lemon zest and mix again until distributed.
In a separate bowl, combine the coconut oil, apple sauce, and agave nectar. Mix in the soaked chia seeds. Chop the pitted medjool dates finely, and mix in with the other wet ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and stir until blended. Spread the mixture into the prepared baking pan, and use a spatula to flatten out the surface. Sprinkle remaining 2 Tbsp coconut on top, patting them down lightly into the mixture.
Bake for 25-28 minutes, until edges begin to turn golden brown. Cut while warm into squares. Makes 16 2”x2” squares.