Kay Wheeler Moore

Welcome to my blog

Hello. . .

The Newfangled Country Gardener is for anyone who has a garden, would like to have a garden, or who simply enjoys eating the garden-fresh way. I don't claim to be an expert; in this blog I'm simply sharing some of the experiences my husband and I have in preparing food that is home-grown.

About the author

Kay Wheeler Moore is the author of a new cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden, that features six generations of recipes that call for ingredients that are fresh from the garden. With home gardening surging in popularity as frugal people become more resourceful, this recipe collection and the stories that accompany it ideally will inspire others to cook the garden-fresh way and to preserve their own family food stories as well. The stories in this book center around the Three Red-Haired Miller Girls (Kay's mother and aunts) who grew up in Delta County, TX, with their own backyard garden so lavish that they felt as though they were royalty after their Mama wielded her kitchen magic on all that was homegrown. Introduced in Kay's previous book, Way Back in the Country, the lively Miller Girls again draw readers into their growing-up world, in which a stringent economic era--not unlike today's tight times--saw people turn to the earth to put food on the table for their loved ones. The rollicking yarns (all with recipes attached) have love, family, and faith as common denominators and show how food evocatively bonds us to our life experiences.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Those nostalgic lemon bar cookies morph into a coffee-cake recipe

I’ve been utterly agog over the fact that with my new mini herb garden installed, I can walk a short distance to my step-side flower bed and trim off fresh rosemary (and other herbs) for recipes.

Except for that, I probably wouldn’t have given a second glance to this recipe for Lemon-Rosemary Coffee Cake. When coffee cake is involved, I crave peaches or blueberries or nuts. My first thoughts don’t turn in the lemon direction.

But the magazine photo that accompanied the recipe looked lovely; Hubby’s birthday was being celebrated, and I needed to bake something for his birthday morning. Rosemary in my mini herb garden was readily available. 

Who knew that this was going to emerge tasting as though it was a coffee-cake version of those delicious baked lemon square bar-cookies my mother used to make? With powdered sugar for the topping? Yes—that’s what it was: lemon-bar cookies made into a coffee cake with rosemary woven into the mixture and with rosemary sprigs sprinkled over the cake.

For Hubby it made an amazing birthday breakfast. Since he had watched them grow from his very earth, he didn’t even blink at the fact that the coffee cake had green weedlike garnishes sprinkled on it. 

Lemon-Rosemary Coffee Cake

Parchment paper
3 large lemons
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups sugar (or sugar substitute)
1/2 teaspoon salt (or salt substitute)
1/2 cup very cold butter, cubed
1 teaspoon baking powder
12 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup buttermilk (Greek yogurt may be substituted)
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 (10-ounce) jar lemon curd
powdered sugar
garnishes: fresh rosemary sprigs, lemon slices

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper. Grate zest from lemons to equal 1 tablespoon. Cut lemons in half; squeeze juice from lemons into a bowl to equal 5 tablespoons. Reserve zest and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Combine flour, sugar, and salt in bowl of a food processor; pulse 3 to 4 times or until blended. Add butter; pulse 6 to 7 times or until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Reserve 1 cup flour mixture. Transfer remaining flour  mixture to bowl of a heavy-duty electric stand mixer. Add baking powder and baking soda; beat at low speed until well-blended. Add buttermilk, egg, and 1/4 cup lemon juice; beat at medium speed 1 1/2 to 2 minutes or until batter is thoroughly blended. Stop to scrape bowl as needed. Stir in rosemary. Spoon half of batter into prepared pan. Whisk lemon curd in a small bowl about 1 minute or until loosened and smooth; carefully spread over batter in pan. Top with remaining half of batter. Stir together reserved lemon zest, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and 1 cup flour mixture; sprinkle lemon zest mixture over batter in pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in the center emerges clean. Let cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes. Gently run a sharp knife around edge of cake to loosen; remove sides of pan. Cool cake completely on wire rack (about 1 hour). Dust cake with powdered sugar just before serving. (You may sub a 9-inch round cake pan for the springform pan. Line bottom and sides of cake pan with aluminum foil. Allow 2 to 3 inches to extend over sides; grease foil well. Proceed with recipe as directed through baking instructions. Let cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes. Lift cake from pan; use foil sides as handles. Carefully remove foil. Cool and dust with powdered sugar as directed.) Makes 8-10 servings. (Source: Southern Living, February 2012)

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