Lemon Madeleines

Recently I borrowed Marcus Samuelsson’s New American Table from my library and I finally got around to flipping through it the other night.  I found several recipes that I hoped to try before it was time to return the book, especially the root vegetable mash which had my mouth watering as I glanced down the ingredient list (potatoes, carrots, parsnips, cream, milk, cinnamon, garlic, onion, butter, maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, nutmeg – YUM!).  What really grabbed me about the book though were the photos – tons of gorgeous, dazzling color photos.  The photos are more than just shots of the food; there are families and neighborhoods and landmarks and so much more.  I later learned that this book had been nominated for a James Beard award in the photography category and it’s definitely well deserved.

Lemon Madeleines

These madeleines were the first thing I tried from the book and they were wonderful.  I bought my madeleine pan almost 2 years ago to make madeleines for Tuesdays with Dorie and I haven’t used it since so I thought it was about time to break it out again.  Madeleines are so easy to make and they look really adorable.  You’ve probably noticed that mine look a bit dark, and they are.  The recipe called for a baking time of 15 minutes and when I went to check them at 10 minutes, they were already a bit overdone.  Regardless, they were still delicious!  The lemon is subtle, but it’s there and the texture was perfect.  The recipe goes one step further and dips the madeleines in chocolate ganache so that’s an option too if you’re looking to jazz these up even more!

Lemon Madeleines
from New American Table by Marcus Samuelsson

zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 1/2 teaspoons honey
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces (plus more for greasing the pans)
1 vanilla bean
4 large eggs
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for the pans)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat over to 400 F.  Using melted or very soft butter, grease the madeleine tins and then flour them, tapping out any excess flour.  Place the greased and floured pans in the refrigerator while you make the batter.

In a small saucepan, bring the lemon juice to a boil over medium heat.  Add the lemon zest and simmer for 2 minutes then add the honey and simmer for another 3 minutes.  Add the butter and stir with a heatproof spatula until melted.  Use a sharp knife to slice the vanilla bean lengthwise and use the back of the knife to scrape the seeds into the pan.  Set this mixture aside to cool slightly.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and both sugars.  Add half of the butter mixture to the bowl and stir to combine.  Add the flour, baking powder and salt to the bowl and mix.  Finally, add the remaining butter mixture and fold until combined.

Fill each of the madeleine molds about 2/3-3/4 full with the batter (slightly less than 2 tablespoons per mold).  Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the madeleines are golden brown around the edges.  Remove them from the oven and turn the madeleines out onto a wire rack to cool.

Makes 25-30 madeleines