I do not spring forward well.
I was born in winter, in the late evening. I’ve been accused of reverse seasonal affective disorder (or, as I call it, “Seasonal Ugh-stop Neurosis” aka SUN). I have, as one astrologist poetically put it, a lunar affect. I am a Fall/Winter by anyone’s measure.
So daylight savings time in March is a tough row for me. It will take weeks to re-orient, especially this year when spring seems to have missed its stop, what with knee-deep snow in New York and blazing 80-plus temps in Los Angeles.
So this DST day called for a homemade remedy. It called for lemons. And blueberries. And cake. So I called for Martha, specifically her Blue Belles recipe. (I find Martha a great friend in the kitchen because her baking recipes rarely call for ingredients I don’t have on hand.)
Full disclosure: I made this yesterday in order to have it as I slunk forward this morning.
I made the single large loaf using Meyer lemons (plus an orange to round out the juice measure) and Trader Joe’s frozen wild blueberries. There’s a prodigious amount of sugar (next time I’ll reduce the amount in the cake), but the cake itself is not too too sweet. Likewise, there was a lot of the lemon syrup. I don’t like my lemon cakes too wet, so I used only about a third of it. (Because it was sitting there, though, I did add a bit to hot tea and to seltzer later in the day – nice! So I froze it.)
Like most tea cakes, this was very easy. My dodgy apartment oven doesn’t always hold a temperature (dropping at random from 350 to 300), so I needed an extra 20 or so minutes on the bake, giving me a browner cake and thicker “crust” than desired.
No matter, this thing is delicious. Much better the second day. I will say, though, if you’re looking for a tea cake that is bursting with a kind of fruity, zesty freshness, this isn’t it. The sugar doesn’t help, but fresh fruit will obviously make a big difference, especially backyard lemons and farmers market blueberries. (I’m also thinking a Tuscan cornmeal base would deliver a stronger fresh-from-the-garden experience.) That said – this was fast, easy, good, and very welcome on this DST day.
PS, Trader Joe’s has had these roses for a couple of months, $4.99 per bunch of 13. $10 a week for a pop of color.