Monday, November 08, 2010

Zucchini Pear Tea Cake

There are times I think I should blog more or not at all. Other days I think I should have a baking blog. Then I remember everything I own related to baking (muffin pans, loaf pans, cookie sheets, spatulas) is still stuck in storage. And then I get really riled up.

At least I wrote a book.

And I have friends, good friends, who loan me their apartments with sweeping views of the city, pear trees, and all the baking supplies a girl could ever need.

All this was important a few weeks ago for reasons I'm having trouble articulating. It was Friday. It was raining. My lunch date was postponed. I wanted to stay at home and make something so badly (you know the feeling, yes?) but there were things I had to do.

Still, I decided to make some quick bread, knowing I'd never have time to bake the bread, hoping I'd get around to it fairly soon.

I grated some zucchini. I tossed it with eggs, oil, sugar and some of the pear sauce lurking in the fridge. I dumped in the dry ingredients. I covered it, put it in the fridge, and walked away.

Here's what happened next: I was in a dark bar with my boyfriend, and ran right into someone I used to be very, very in love with. It made my heart hurt a little, and my stomach and my head hurt even more. New love was introduced to old love and we awkwardly bantered. It seemed particularly cold, and rainy, when we finally exited the bar.

Not even record shopping helped. We drove home, quietly, in the rain. When we walked in the door, the first think I did was turn on the oven. I haphazardly cut parchment and hurtled the batter into the pan. I drank another glass of wine, and I drank it quickly.

An hour later, after checking the oven way too many times, it emerged. Brown, sweet, redolent with cinnamon.
We ate it hot, big hunks of cake topped with butter pecan ice cream. It really did make everything better. But more than that, the meal reminded me that home is where you make it.

And I am making it here. And now.

Zucchini Pear Tea Cake
Adapted from Tartine Bakery's recipe for Zucchini orange marmalade tea cake, which is amazing. 
Line a 9x5 inch loaf pan with parchment and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350.

1-3/4 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 and 1/2 cups grated zucchini (about 3 small ones)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 cup walnuts, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped (optional)
Combine dry ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. Next mix wet ingredients in a separate bowl, mixing gently.
Sift the dry ingredients into the wet and stir until just combined.  Add the walnuts, if using. Pour into the prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle the top with demera sugar, if desired.

Bake for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.


Pink of Perfection said...

Oh my does this ever sound lovely!

Literary Dog said...

Oh, this is a lovely, bittersweet post. I felt the same way recently, a little displaced, but certain that some things (for me, the dogs) make me feel at home. Hope to catch up with you soon! xo