Citrus infused olive oils. I’d been on a quest to find some good citrus extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) infused with either orange, lemon or meyer lemons. Infused EVOO are easy enough to find and a bit costly! Purchasing a bottle would barely yield me enough to make a couple of baked good recipes I’ve been anxious to try and experiment with. Using EVOO in cooking, brushing it on to breads, using as a condiment, as a dip and most deliciously – using it in baking, is one of my favorite ingredients. So, it made both logical and economical sense to start learning and experimenting infusing my own oils. I’m enjoying the results of the effort of infusing, starting with this delicate crumb texture and subtle flavors of this Meyer Lemon Olive-Oil Cake.
This recipe from the late Gourmet Magazine turned out genuinely fantastic. It’s the texture of the cake and the subtle flavor that I love about it. The original recipe did not call for a citrus infused olive oil but since I have an abundance of garden Meyer Lemons, it was the thing to do.
This is not a sweet cake. It doesn’t need sugary icings or any kind of silliness like that. It’s a rustic, subtle flavored dessert. A light sprinkle of powdered sugar is more for aesthetics than anything else.
In place of a more regular variety of lemon, I used the Meyer and added a bit more zest (by a 1/2 teaspoon). Using infused olive oil, I expected a more lemon burst of flavor. Although I really liked how it turned out, I would increase some ingredients for a bit more lemony zing. I’m not sure if my result was due to using Meyer Lemons for both the zest, juice for the batter AND an olive oil that was infused with the very same lemon. I’m thinking and more leaning towards that because the Meyer is not as tart as a regular-type variety (like a Eureka lemon, for example), I probably should’ve really bumped up the amount of zest?
After I infused the olive oil, I left the lemon peel/zest in the oil for at least an additional three days before straining and baking up this cake. Maybe I could’ve had it seep even longer?
Questions I’ll have answers for before long, as I’m excited about the prospects of DIY infusing. With my kumquat trees generous bearing this year and acquiring a couple bags of blood oranges, I’ll be experimenting with those as well. I’ll follow up with another post in a couple of weeks, after I’ve played with some more home made citrus olive oil infusion! I have some more research to do as to the best storage methods and ways to keep its freshness. Please share with me anything you may know these techniques and methods. Would love to hear from you!
In the meantime, you’ve gotta try this cake!
- Used 2 teaspoons of grated Meyer Lemon zest. Next time, may bump this up to 4 teaspoons (1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon).
- Baking time adjusted between 30-35 minutes (from my oven).
- Next time may try using an 8-inch springform pan for a higher cake.
- Adding some rosemary, maybe even some crystallized ginger would be a tasty variation.
1 to 2 large Meyer Lemons
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
Gently wash the lemons and remove the yellow part/zest with a pairing knife, avoiding the white pith of the lemons.
Pour the olive oil in a non-reactive pan, and place the lemon zest in the olive oil. Warm over medium heat but DO NOT ALLOW TO SIMMER. Keep the oil below simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove the oil from the heat and allow to cool.
Strain peel/zest out of the oil into a clean jar/bottle/container. Store in a cool, dark place.
Makes 1, 9-inch Cake or 8 servings
Special equipment: a 9-inch (24-cm) Springform pan; parchment paper
3/4 cup Meyer Lemon infused extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for greasing pan
1-2 large Meyer Lemons: zested (2 teaspoons) and juiced (1 1/2 Tablespoons)
1 cup cake flour (not self-rising)
5 large eggs, separated, reserving 1 white for another use
3/4 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
CLICK HERE FOR THE RECIPE (external site)