19 August 11 • SCB

During the summer break I am with my kids full time which means they accompany me everywhere. You may have seen them slumping and scowling in the line at the post office, dancing and high-kicking in the wide aisles of Home Depot, knocking down frame displays at the film lab or, most certainly, begging for salt & vinegar potato chips at the market.

While I like to engage my kids in all aspects of the sourcing and preparation of our food (and I highly recommend doing so if you have reluctant eaters), their shopping enthusiasm can have an incredibly distracting effect on both my grocery list and our food budget. This week we brought home two different kinds of pickles, flavored rice cakes, dried exotic fruits, smoked salmon, packaged sushi, and seeded rolls. We, however, did not buy the bread, milk and butter for which we had made the trip.

Another of our impulse purchases was red currants. I’m not sure how they ended up in our basket, maybe we were lured by their ruby-red jewel-like appearance. I don’t know. Days later, they were still lovely, but uneaten ( we discovered that they were both tart and full of seeds). They were at risk of going to waste, but we didn’t have enough to warrant jam. A friend recommended baking scones with them, but we had not bought milk and had only a pat of butter. Then I remembered Molly’s Lemon Yogurt Cake which I had paired with another sweet-tart flavor, rhubarb, with great success in the past.

One of the very first Orangette recipes I ever tried, I have adapted this cake just slightly over time by adding some whole wheat flour and a touch of salt (I have also made it with all whole wheat pastry flour). It is always moist and simple (it’s a great cake for kids to bake on their own) and a perfect accompaniment to fruit, fresh or baked within.

Lemon Yogurt Cake with Red Currants
Adapted from Gâteau au Citron by Molly Wizenberg

1 cup red currants
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch salt
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1/2 cup canola oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Generously butter a 9 inch cake pan. Wash currants and take them off the stems (if you have someone with little fingers to do this—great!). Spread currants across bottom of pan.

In a large mixing bowl, thoroughly blend yogurt with sugar and eggs. Add flours, baking powder, salt and zest, stirring to combine. Finally, add oil and incorporate into mixture.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until cake is lightly browned and springy to the touch (test with toothpick). Allow to cool for 20 minutes and then gently turn out onto a plate.