Lemon Madeleines – Sugar High Friday Continues…
See how selfish I was coming up with the Citrus theme for Sugar High Friday?!…Gave me the "excuse" to make lemon desserts almost every other day…I know, I am evil! Not made your entry yet? That’s ok, you have until next Sunday (May 25th) to do it. One whole week….And remember, citrus does not only include lemon or lime and the entries I have received so far have been really creative in making different citrus fruits the stars of their creations or an accent to a dessert that takes the whole dish to another dimension. I know you would not mind a teaser…hmmm….No can’t do! But what I can do is to make you some Lemon Madeleines to ease the wait of the round up on the 30th.
Before I forget, because my brain is more scattered than the madeleine crumbs on the breakfast table right now: the "handmade with love" tag attached to that cool ribbon was actually part of a gift that one regular reader of this blog, Bina, sent me. She does not have a blog but emailed me a few months ago with a macaron question (with pics which was precious to help her out) and we have continued emailing even after she had "mac-success". Well, this little busy bee cross-stitched a couple of towels for me, one with lemons (!) and one with ice creams, and when I went to take the picture I had the tag in my pocket so it ended up on the plate…which also has a story: it made a long trip from Inne’s home to mine but it was just the perfect size for the madeleines. She was sending me a much coveted book and "hid" the fact that there was china and chocolate in it. Spoiled, I tell you…I am spoiled…Thank you both from the bottom of my heart.
Madeleines were almost always part of the cookie tray my grandmother would put together for our daily afternoon tea. Since there is only one house between my parents' and theirs, the ritual was to go over there around 4pm and sit down together for tea and cookies and talk about the upcoming weekend gatherings, dinner, birthday parties, communions, etc….With a big family like ours, it seemed like there was always something to celebrate and get together for. It was fairly common to buy madeleines instead of making them and with a great bakery in the village it was easy to pop a dozen in the basket while getting bread in the morning. I loved their distinct bakery-orange blossom flavor, their dense almost pound cake like texture, their sticky exterior, and most particularly their giant dome on top…or back…depending on which way you hold it.
Really, I would sit there for minutes on end just holding one, staring at this big, puffed round of cookie wondering how on earth such a classy scalloped treat could end up looking like Quasimodo. And then, I would eat it, forgetting about my questions until the next time we would gather for tea. While others were pondering over e=mc2, I did spend a great deal of my childhood wondering about the dome of madeleine, which
probably surely explains what I do nowadays for a living. I think it is more about reminiscing about home that I like seeing my madeleines puff up in the oven since the taste is the same whatever the shape they end up taking!
One of our favorite things to nibble on during the weekends is madeleines. Not very original for a cookie but I know that Patricia, whom I rename the Queen of Madeleines, will agree that they are not only very cute, they are too darn good and versatile to pass up. I make a big batch on Friday nights and keep the bowl out, and they are usually gone by Sunday afternoon. I made these last night too and there is half of one left…I guess I am not the only one on a lemon binge! I think the twins ate half the bowl when we bribed them to come down from the pecan tree but still…
When I inherited grandma’s recipe box after she passed away, I was really surprised to find a handful of madeleines recipes since she never made a single one for us while she was still alive! Not a cultural thing to make them back them, maybe too much fuss to get the pans which would have probably required a day trip to Paris back then and I don’t see my grandfather going with her to get some baking equipment so she could make them since Mr. Baker next door was generously providing us with a fresh daily supply. I bet you that if she had been blogging back then, she would have taken that train or emailed a buddy to get what she needed! Like me, grandma loved anything citrusy so I was not surprised to find 4 different recipes for lemon madeleines in that box. I chose the one that was the most lemony of all: zest in the batter, squirt of lemon right out of the oven and lemon glaze to finish. Verdict? Well, let’s just say that I plan on making another batch this afternoon and hiding it….
80 gr all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
80 gr granulated sugar
80 gr unsalted butter, melted and cooled
pinch of salt
3 Tb lemon juice
zest of one lemon
1/2 lemon (for squirting after they are baked)
2 cups powdered sugar
3Tb lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
Preheat your oven to 400F.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, sugar, pinch of salt. Separate the egg whites from the yolks, and whisk in the yolk to the flour mixture. The mixture will appear quite thick, do not feel like you have to whisk in all in thoroughly. In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites until foamy, and add a small amount first them to the egg yolk/flour mixture and whisk vigourously with a whisk to break the flour/yolk lumpy mass. Fold in the rest of the whites with a spatula. Add the lemon juice, zest, and butter. Whisk the batter until everything is incorporated and smooth. Drop one tablespoon or so into the madeleine molds, depending on their size. Do not fill them to the rim though.
Bake for 8 minutes or until golden brown. As soon as they come out of the oven, squirt the half lemon over the madeleines and let cool completely before proceeding with the glaze.
For the glaze: mix the powdered sugar, lemon juice and zest together until you get semi thick consistency. Add more lemon juice if needed. Dip each madeleine in the glaze and set them on a wire rack over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
For madeleine pans and molds, check here for metal and silicone.
These flowers are my way to say thank you to the judges that Barbara gathered during the Taste of Yellow food photography contest. I was surprised, moved, happy, speechless when she told me that my macarons and yellow wristband picture had been selected as the winner. Big thank you again, it was an honor to participate 🙂