Gateau Au Citron (Upside Down Lemon Cake)

For the Love of Lemons, Part 2 – By Dianne Boate

Gateau Au Citron (Upside Down Lemon Cake)
Your New Lemon Pantry

This lemon dessert was a winner right away. It has the grace to taste even better than its beautiful appearance. Please read the recipe thoroughly, including Notes before you begin.

Gateau au Citron
3 lemons, washed, dried, cut in thin slices*, seed removed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup Lyle’s Golden Syrup**
Juice of 1 lemon

3/4 cup butter – (1 ½ sticks)
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ cups all purpose unbleached flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup milk
1 tablespoon lemon zest ( about 3 lemons)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cut lemons in thin slices, removing ends.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a 9 or10 inch nonstick, ovenproof frying pan ( with sloping sides), watching carefully that it does not burn. Remove from heat and stir in Golden Syrup and lemon juice with a small whisk. Place cut lemons in pan spiraling from center as shown.

Place butter and sugar in mixer bowl, beat until light and smooth; add eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt , stirring together with a whisk. Add flour mixture alternately with milk, beating just until smooth. Fold in grated lemon peel with a spoon (it will get stuck on the beaters if you add it in earlier.) Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, remembering that when you smell it, it is close to being done. Let cool 5 minutes.

Select your serving plate, invert over the skillet. Keep a firm grip on skillet handle with your right hand, while holding plate in place with left hand, and quickly turn over. Lift off skillet. Let cool completely. This will serve 12 people.


· use a very sharp knife to cut lemons. A plastic cutting board as pictured above will save the lemon juice that comes while cutting.

** Lyles Golden Syrup is available in San Francisco at Fresh and Easy, 32nd Avenue and Clement Street in the Richmond District; Cheese Plus, 2001 Polk Street at Pacific Avenue. This is a product from England with a great taste, useful for pancakes, waffles and making pecan pie.


Your New Lemon Pantry. First, here are some basic tools:

From the top, clockwise: metal strainer, fine mesh strainer,
grater, plastic funnel, plastic juicer, microplane for fine zesting, zester, green plastic curved cutting board. NOT SHOWN: Sharp cutting knife.

For juicing lemons, cut lemon in half, place on juicer, press and turn to extract juice. Use a strainer over a bowl to catch seeds. Plastic funnel is used to empty juice into a bottle or container.
Note: if lemon zest is required, do it first before juicing.

About zesting: Using the microplane, I like to hold the end in left hand, and apply lemon with my right hand in small downward strokes, being careful to take off only the yellow colored part. The white pith beneath is bitter.
You will net about 1 teaspoon zest from medium – large lemon.

To use the hand held zester, place lemon in your hand, apply
zester from top to bottom of lemon. This will be a thicker zest.

To make good use of the zest right away, right away, place 3 teaspoons with 1 cup sugar, mix well. Try with fresh fruit!

Next time, more surprise recipes, ideas and pantry items. It never ends.