In college, I used to eat a grapefruit every day. At least one, but sometimes two. I would sprinkle a tiny bit of sugar on top and begin scooping away at it. Looking back, the slurping sound that I made as I inhaled each spoonful must have been a bit off-putting, but at the time I didn’t think anything of it.
Citrus has always been my savior during the colder months. I add lemon zest to pasta dishes, fresh orange juice to cocktails, and segments of grapefruit to salads. It brings life to an otherwise dreary season.
I recently came up with the idea to do a new series here at A Thought For Food called “Back To Basics.” The purpose of these posts is to focus more on various cooking techniques and to spend time talking about the process of making things that one would normally buy at the store (is there anything better than homemade mayo? freshly baked bread?).
This past weekend I featured a post on how to segment citrus. It’s a technique that, up until recently, I had no idea how to do. And, surprisingly, it isn’t difficult.
Along with these instructions, I wanted to give you all a recipe to use the technique and this cake is a wonderful way to showcase the punch and pow of grapefruit. Normally, I’m a bit reluctant to bake with fruit as it can sometimes get lost in all of the sweetness, but this recipe really lets it shine.
Before you go off to bake this, it’s time for some exciting news! I was recently asked by Edible Boston to write an article for them on the developing food scene in South Boston, which is the neighborhood Eric and I reside. It was an honor to write this feature and I hope you all enjoy it!
(from Saveur Magazine)
3 pink grapefruits
2⁄3 cup unsalted butter, softened,
3 cups cake flour, plus more
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 3⁄4 cups sugar
3⁄4 cup milk
1 1⁄2 tbsp. vanilla extract
1 lb. cream cheese, softened
2 1⁄2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1. Zest 1 grapefruit to make 2 tsp. zest; set aside. Peel and segment grapefruits; set aside. Squeeze juice from remaining pulp, reserving 1⁄2 cup plus 1 tbsp.; set aside.
2. Heat oven to 350°. Butter and flour a 9″ x 13″ baking dish; set aside. In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. Into a large bowl, beat remaining butter and sugar with a handheld mixer until fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add 1⁄2 cup of the reserved juice, milk, and vanilla; stir. Add flour mixture; stir until combined. Line bottom of pan with half the reserved grapefruit; add batter; smooth top with a spatula. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean, 40–45 minutes; let cool.
3. In a large bowl, beat reserved zest, remaining juice, and cream cheese until fluffy. Add confectioners’ sugar 1⁄2 cup at a time; beat until smooth. Spread frosting over cake; top with the remaining grapefruit segments. Chill.