Spring is bringing new shoots, new growths and new projects.
Che my faithful companion
Often at the market people ask me how do I get my inspiration… Walking in the forest with Che is where I dream of new flavours…
Like this new marmalade. Thin slices of oranges and lemons with fresh bay leaves gives a sharp taste and a scant amount of orange flower water add a touch of softness. A bright marmalade for spring mornings.
Tomorrow, Saturday March 8th, Vancouver Farmers Market @ Nat Bailey Stadium 10-2 pm. Rain, wind and 20 different flavours to try !
The sun is visiting Le Meadow’s Pantry this week, revealing the blossoms in the apple tree, drying the last blossoms in the cherry tree and, making the rhubarb blush.
There are still a lot of dandelions and bees in the field. Enough to make more dandelion nectar.
We use 365 flowers to make 5 jars. Why 365? To celebrate the 365 suns that have risen and set since last year’s spring.
Dandelion Nectar is as bright as the sun and taste as sweet as honey. It is simply spring in a jar.
We harvested the first rhubarb in our garden and made our first batches of rhubarb jam and a cake! More rhubarb is growing, but we won’t have enough to make all the jam we need for the market. We were delighted to learn that Camel’s Back Harvest in Pemberton will be able to supply Le Meadow’s Pantry this summer!
Rhubarb releasing it’s juice before we turn it into a luscious jam.
This is the cake my beloved grand-maman Irène used to make every spring with the first rhubarb from her garden. They also grew red and black current and gooseberries to make delicious jellies. The jars were kept sealed and served on cold days to brighten up the long winter back east.
Rhubarb upside down cake
~ I used a well-seasoned cast-iron pan skillet but a cake pan would work too.
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar ~ I used sucanat sugar~
1 1/2 pounds rhubarb stalk, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces ~about 3 cups
1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup brown sugar~ I used sucanat
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 large eggs
3/4 cup whole milk
Preheat oven at 350 F
Make the topping:
Heat butter in skillet gently until foam subsides. Reduce heat to low and sprinkle sugar and cook without stirring for 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and place rhubarb in one layer on sugar mixture. Set aside.
Make the cake:
1.In a large bowl mix all the dry ingredients.
2.Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at high speed, about 1 minute.
3.Add vanilla and almond extract to the sugar and butter and add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
4.Reduce speed and add flour mixture alternately in batches with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
5.Mix until just combined.
Bake the cake:
1.Spoon cake batter over the rhubarb without disturbing the rhubarb.
2.Bake cake until golden and a wooden skewer inserted in center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes.
3.Cool in skillet on a rack for 15 minutes.
4.Run a thin knife around edge of skillet. Wearing oven mitts, invert a plate over skillet and, keeping plate and skillet firmly pressed together, invert cake onto plate.