As my photography’s improved, I often look back at my earliest posts and I just want to do it over, for sake of getting a better photo. I’ve made madeleines before, though with this round I get to do another take with more detailed instructions – adding things that I do to make my life easier, like putting the madeleine pans on a baking sheet (or cookie sheet) so that it’s easier to take in and out of the oven, but didn’t think of adding to my first instructions.
Madeleines are little cakes, and they’re probably best known from the “madeleine episode” from Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time. (I quoted this passage when I posted my first madeleine recipe.) A near paradox of the madeleine Marcel Proust described and those who try recreating, in vain, the one he described is the crumb: madeleines are generally moist and soak up liquid like a sponge, whereas it is implied that M. Proust’s madeleine was dry and required to be dunked in the tea, sort of like biscotti. However, it is suggested by some theorists that perhaps the madeleine didn’t exist as there is no mention of it or any other baked goods that triggered childhood memories in M. Proust’s personal writings, and that it only served as a vehicle for this trip down memory lane.
I’ve become fixated on these “squat, plump little cakes” again, to quote M. Proust, since I got blueberries. And since blueberries and lemon go so well together, well – why not?
To those who celebrated, I hope you had a great, Happy Canada Day! This photo (above) has been reminding me for nearly two weeks now to post this recipe and it’s also been making me insanely happy with my photography and very enthusiastic.
When Lauren mentioned how she was going to make her millet biscuits and turn them into strawberry shortcakes, I developed an interest in the biscuits. After some correspondence back and forth (asking if cornstarch would be a suitable substitute, and if white rice flour would work in place of the sweet rice flour – since having run out from making multiple apple tarte tatin puffed pancakes), I commenced to roll up my sleeves.
A lemon without its tart edge, subdued by a tangerine sweetness: that is a Meyer lemon. Sometimes, the orangey sweetness is so strong that it’s more like a lemon trying to pose as an orange, ha! Slightly smaller than regular lemons, with a thinner rind, and are a warm yellow that’s pleasing to the eye. In fact, I can’t help but see that warm yellow of Meyer lemons without feeling a twinge of happiness. Before I tried them, I just didn’t understand its significance or how it’s not just any old lemon with a name slapped on it to sound fancy or exotic (despite its origins in China). It’s difficult to describe Meyer lemons to those who have not tried Meyer lemons or eaten something made with them – let alone make them understand how they’re different from regular lemons (like me, until recently) – I’m not the only one who wishes that the Internet had some form of scratch ‘n’ sniff.