Welcome to my Cooking with Friends series! This spring, as I work on cookbook projects that keep me very busy, I’ve invited some of my favorite blogger friends to share recipes with you. I hope you’ll have just as much fun cooking and baking with them as I do.
Today, I’m welcoming Kristy from SheEats.ca. Kristy is a writer, photographer, and actress, and she has one of the most unique blogging voices I know. She recently released her first book, Cooking with Cocktails, which she wrote with the belief that the best memories are made over good food and good drinks. Today, she shares a delicious recipe worthy of the best springtime feasts: Spring Cherry Blossom Lemon Cake. Enjoy!
I grew up in a small town, in the middle of the Canadian prairies where bumper skiing, Budweiser and shotguns hanging by the back door was a thing. Meat and potatoes with a side of more potatoes were pretty much the standard fare. It was a delicious childhood, wholesome and you were pretty much guaranteed to know the farmer (if not the cow!) from which your meat came from.
Fast forward 20 years, a move to the big city (of Vancouver), one mind-blowing class in university, and a damn hungry tummy.
Enter lemons. Limes. Key limes. Oranges. Blood oranges. Tangelos. Mandarins. Satsumas. Kumquats. Clementines. Pomelos. Yuzu. And even, eek, grapefruit.
The idea of citrus anything once made me cringe something awful – the flavours were just too wild! Homemade salad dressing? No thanks. Lemon bars? Um, no. Lemon meringue pie? Hell no. But now?
Give it to me.
Reflecting on that change (and all the others – big and small – that have followed), there’s something to be said for leaping out of your comfort zone and trying something you’ve never tried before.
Like cherry blossoms. In cake.
You won’t these little flowers at the grocery store, farmer’s market or in your CSA Box. My friends, you’re going to have to glean, beg, borrow and steal these bad boys.
Look for trees that are in full blossom and plentiful. Don’t take too many from any one area. Try to divide your harvest among 2 or 3 larger trees if possible. The idea behind urban foraging is to take only what you need in the least invasive way possible. We don’t want to ruin the natural beauty for anyone else or harm the environment.
More notes on cherry blossoms for the most scrumptious cake:
- Cherry blossoms are innately quite bitter. You probably don’t want to put one in your mouth without curing it first (directions in recipe). If you choose not to heed my advice, do take a photo and tag me on Instagram – I’d love to see your sour pucker.
- Be gentle with the cherry blossoms as you blot them dry; they’re precious and fragile.
- Cure the blossoms for exactly 3 days. Like any organic matter, leaving them to sit in a pool of salty water for too long will cause them to decompose.
- Lastly, this cake is damn good. I won’t lie; this mother takes some time. And you certainly aren’t going to get skinny eating buttercream frosting. But with a little patience and sense of adventure, even a non-baker like myself can pull it off. It can also be done in stages over the course of a week so it’s manageable in bits. Kind of like trying new things! One step at a time…
Friends. Followers of Marie. Our delicious community. This Cherry Blossom Lemon Cake is badass, and it’s for you. For Spring. And for having the cahones to try something new.
You can head to my blog, She Eats, to get the recipe for Cherry Blossom Lemon Cake, along with an abundance of stories and recipes. Here’s a day’s worth of favourite recipes from the blog, which are guaranteed to satisfy your food-loving soul:
Healthy Breakfast: The Avocado Toast Infatuation
Drink: Cozy Maple Whiskey Sour
Kristy Gardner is a writer, photographer, and actress. Kristy contributes to Edible Vancouver and blogs at SheEats.ca and runs a website design and branding company called PeppercornCreative. She’s unapologetically fixated on farmer’s market friendly food like local & fresh vegetables, pastured meat, salt, butter and seasonal cocktails. She lives for Pacific Northwest adventures, glamping, hiking mountains, writing, bourbon, Ghostbusters, dogs, and pigs. Not all at the same time. Kristy lives and works in Vancouver, Canada.
Make sure to follow Kristy through her blog and on social media:
Also! Do yourself a favor and buy Kristy’s book, Cooking with Cocktails. It’s phenomenally good. I can hardly think of a better world than one in which food and cocktails come together! Learn more about her book, and follow along her online book tour.
All photos above this point: © Kristy Gardner.