How-To Make Aronia Lemon Cake

 

Aronia Lemon Cake1

The other day, I was on my way home from running errands and came across a garden center called Keep It Simple Farm in Redmond, Washington that also has several fruits and vegetables to pick. I was curious to see what they had available and I am SO glad that I stopped.

Aronia berries.jpg

Aronia melanocarpa right from the bush!

I was walking through their gardens and came upon an Aronia melanocarpa ‘Viking’ bush that was covered in ripe fruit! I was beyond excited to see this because I had just requested two Low Scape® Aronia plants from my previous employer, Spring Meadow Nursery – home of Proven Winners ColorChoice shrubs! However, these plants are too young to have fruit on them this season. If any do appear, it will be a gift to the birds.

I’d been to several talks were Aronia had been discussed as a wonderful food source. Yet I hadn’t tried it even though I grew a beautiful ‘Viking’ in my Michigan garden and was always quite fond of it for its aesthetic qualities not edible.

Aronia Berry News states that the 10 health benefits are as follows:

  1. Antioxidant Source
  2. Urinary Tract Health
  3. Improves Blood Circulation & Strengthens Blood Vessels
  4. Balances Blood Pressure Levels
  5. Prevention & Help in Treatment of Diabetes
  6. Gastro Pervention
  7. Anti-Carcinogenic Effect
  8. Anti-Inflammatory Properties
  9. Eye Protection
  10. Weight Control

For further information about the above benefits, feel free to visit their website.

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Important Tip: Be mindful of where you harvest especially if in the wild

Well, let’s get to the cooking! I wanted to get the most out of my Aronia fruit. So I boiled them on the stove with a cup of water and a couple tablespoons of honey. Mashing them as I was cooking them to release as much of the juice as possible. Then I ran them throw a fine mesh strainer. All the juice, I reserved for use in cocktails or to pour over vanilla ice cream. The mash (skins/seeds), I put in my Vitamix with a bit of water and blended until smooth. That is what I used for the following recipe.

I decided to create an original recipe that had something similar in look and feel to Aronia so I went with blueberries and lemon is always a great complement to them. I thought I would make a crumble but decided against that because I didn’t want to cover up the gorgeous, jewel-toned berries. The color is absolutely stunning in person and not clearly expressed in the images shown. You will just need to make it for yourself to see! 🙂

 

Aronia Glazed Lemon Cake

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A wonderful way to harvest, local berries to use in baking

Ingredients

Filling:

  • 1 cup Aronia Berry Puree
  • 1/2 pint of organic, fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup of white sugar
  • Zest of one lemon
  • Juice of half lemon
  • Pinch of Sea Salt
  • Tsp Watkins Original Vanilla Extract (optional)
  • Dash of Watkins Cinnamon (optional)
  • Tbsp of cornstarch (made into slurry)

Cake:

  • 1 Stick Butter, Room Temp (or microwave for 15 seconds)
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 10-15 drops Young Living Lemon Essential Oil
  • Zest of one lemon
  • Juice of half lemon
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • Tsp Watkins Original Vanilla Extract (optional)
  • Tbsp Watkins Cinnamon (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In saucepan, combine Aronia puree, blueberries, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, vanilla and cinnamon. Place over medium heat. Make a cornstarch slurry by taking a tbsp of cornstarch and mixing with a bit of water. Once fully combined, add to saucepan and stir continually while adding. This helps to ensure no lumps occur in the sauce. Let come to boil on stove top. Once boiling remove from heat. The sauce should be thick enough to coat a spoon. Taste sauce and see if any adjusts are needed – maybe more sugar or cinnamon or cornstarch to make more thick. Customize the sauce to meet your taste preferences.

In a stand mixer, combine soften butter and sugar – beat until fully combined. Add zest, lemon oil and juice – mix to incorporate. Then add your beaten eggs and vanilla. In a sifter place flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Sift onto parchment paper. Then pour your dry ingredients into your wet ingredients – mixing until well distributed. Taste the dough! Does it need anything else – maybe more salt or vanilla. Again adjust to fit your taste buds.

Pour dough into a 8 x 10, greased, glass cake dish. Pressing down the dough with a spatula to make sure it is even across the dish. Place in oven for 5 minutes at 350 to par bake prior to adding fruit topping. Remove from oven and add fruit topping. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until cake is golden brown.

Once cooled, slice cake and serve topped with a sprinkle of powdered sugar, a slice of lemon and a sprig of mint. An additional could be vanilla ice cream served a la mode.

Can’t wait to hear your feedback about this recipe! I love creating them and hearing how others like them.

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About P.S. I ♥ Peas

Ever since I was a child, I remember falling in love with flowers. My first flower memory was being intrigued by the blooms of Bleeding Heart (Dicentra). Love of nature and art led me into pursuing a degree in horticulture & landscape design. For 15+ years, I worked for different wholesale companies including Proven Winners, Spring Meadow Nursery (Proven Winners ColorChoice Flowering Shrubs) and Zelenka Nursery. Then in 2013, I started my own business Flora & Fauna Media, which specializes in public relations outreach from social media to media publications. Now, I am focusing on being a Stay-At-Home mom and my writing career. I garden on less than an acre of property near Seattle, Washington. Making the most of my space was extremely important to efficiency, which led to removing lots of grass. Now, our property is a sanctuary filled with fruits (blueberries, apples, strawberries, raspberries, cantaloupe, fig and huckleberries), vegetables (kale, beets, peas, tomatoes, squash, potatoes, cardoon, zucchini, green beans, peppers, tomatillos and sorrel) and herbs (rosemary, chives, thyme, mint, oregano, lemon verbena, pineapple sage and sage). Growing our own food is an important mission to me and with a young child teaching is valuable knowledge to pass down generation after generation . If you teach a man to garden, he will eat for life! My husband and I love to cook together. We find new recipes and try them weekly. Wildcrafting has become a fun additional to this pastime. Harvesting stinging nettles or dandelions and making them into something that is edible and delicious is so rewarding.
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