Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Lemon-date cake

In an effort to use up some of the more esoteric ingredients in my pantry, I offer you lemon-date cake, made with lemon zest and dried dates.

It's more like a tea cake--crumbly, not very sweet--and the lemon flavor is subtle. If you wanted to punch it up, you could add some lemon icing.

1/2 cup olive oil, plus more for pan 
1/2 cup milk
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 package (10 ounces) dried dates, coarsely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest (from 1 lemon)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom (or a cake pan lined with parchment paper) with oil; set aside. In a medium bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together oil, milk, and egg; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt; add milk mixture, and stir with a rubber spatula just until smooth (do not overmix). Gently fold in figs and lemon zest. Spread batter in prepared pan; set pan on a rimmed baking sheet.

Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool in pan 15 minutes before unmolding cake onto a wire rack to cool completely. To serve, cut into wedges.

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