Category:Thanksgiving/Christmas’

Quince with Cipollini Onions and Bacon

 - by Elizabeth

quince recipe

Another New York Times recipe, this is also interesting and delicious.  It all started when I had a quince and apple pie at our quilter’s night (thank you, Simone) and then the New York Times did a fabulous feature on all these recipes from all over the United States, where I found this one.  I think it’s a stellar side dish for Thanksgiving.  Because there are two of us, I halved it, so that’s what you see in the photos.

quince quince recipe1 quince recipe2

Ingredients
1 pound cipollini onions
***Note: If you can’t find the cipollini onions, substitute golden pearl onions.***
2 ½ to 3 pounds quinces (about 5), peeled, cored and cut into 1-inch chunks
6 tablespoons pure syrup [Grade A, medium amber]
½ pound thick-cut bacon
4 tablespoons good quality balsamic vinegar
¾ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Salt and ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
Leaves from 5 sprigs fresh thyme

Preparation

cipolini  Bring 2 quarts water to a boil, add the onions, turn off the heat and let sit 5   minutes. Drain and allow to cool.  {NOTE: The packaging from the onions said to cut off one end, and then kind of “squirt” out the inner onion out of its skin.  I did this.}

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Toss quinces with half the maple syrup and spread in a single layer in a large baking pan. Bake 25 minutes, until tender.

Peel and trim the onions. Quarter large ones; cut small ones in half. Fry bacon in a large sauté pan over medium heat until browned. Remove and drain on paper towels. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat. Add onions to the pan and sauté on medium until lightly browned, about 6 minutes.

Cut bacon strips in 3/4-inch pieces. Add to pan with onions. Reduce heat to low. Add remaining maple syrup and the vinegar. Fold in quince. Add nutmeg and season with salt and pepper. Add parsley and thyme. Gently fold ingredients together. Cook a few minutes, then serve warm.

Cranberry Sauce with Grape Juice, Vanilla and Spices

 - by Elizabeth

cranberry sauceI wanted to try a new version of cranberry sauce this year, and found this one on the New York Times website.  Since I don’t drink alcohol, I tried it with grape juice and it was still really delicious.  See Cook’s Notes at end regarding the amount of sweeteners.

Time needed: 20 minutes, plus cooling  Yield: 2 1/2 cups

10 whole allspice berries (I took that to mean “whole allspice”; see note below)
10 whole cloves
10 whole black peppercorns
———-Combine allspice, cloves and peppercorns in a spice grinder or coffee grinder and pulse until finely ground. Or, just use powdered spices, substituting 1/2 tsp. of each for the whole spices——

3 cups fresh or thawed frozen cranberries
1 cup Welch’s purple grape juice
3/4 to  1 cup light brown sugar**
3/4 to 1 cup clover or wildflower honey**
3/4 cup fresh orange juice
4 strips orange zest, about 1 inch by 3 inches, removed with a vegetable peeler
1 (6-inch) sprigs rosemary
1 small cinnamon stick
1 vanilla pod

Preparation
In a medium saucepan, combine cranberries, grape juice, brown sugar, honey, orange juice, orange zest, rosemary, cinnamon stick and ground spices.  With the tip of a paring knife, split vanilla pod lengthwise. Use the back of the knife to scrape seeds from pod. Add seeds and pod to pot.

Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Cook, stirring often, until cranberries have burst and liquid thickens slightly, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and discard zest, rosemary sprig, cinnamon stick and vanilla pod. Transfer mixture to a bowl and let cool.

**Important: TASTE the sauce.  Start with the lesser amount of sugar and honey and add as needed.  Early in the season my oranges are more tart so I need to use the full complement of sweeteners.  Later, when the oranges are more sweet, I can use the lesser amount of honey and/or brown sugar.  This sauce should be tart, balanced by sweet.

Updated November 2016

Change-Your-Life Turkey

 - by Elizabeth

Turkey all doneOr at least that’s what Bon Appetit Magazine calls it: “The Turkey That Will Change Your Life.”  I’m never having it another way.  Yep, I’ve found THE recipe, and here it is:

Spatchcocked Turkey with Anise and Orange, from Bon Appetit, November 2014

To start, watch this video:
http://video.bonappetit.com/watch/thanksgiving-manual-how-to-spatchcock-a-turkey

Most butchers will remove the backbone for you. Lots of guests? Roast two 12–14-pounders; spatchcocking anything larger will be harder and takes longer.

Ingredients

Servings: 8–10

5 teaspoons aniseed
½ cup kosher salt
¼ cup finely grated orange zest, plus 4 wide strips orange zest
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh rosemary, sprig reserved
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, sprigs reserved
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 12–14-lb. turkey (neck, giblets, and backbone removed and reserved)
2 medium onions, quartered
4 large carrots, peeled, halved
4 celery stalks
3 heads garlic, halved
½ cup olive oil

Preparation
Toast aniseed in a dry small skillet over medium heat, tossing occasionally, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Let cool; finely grind in a spice mill or a mortar and pestle. (Alternatively, chop with a knife, or do what I do: put it in a small resealable bag and pound it with a food mallet.)

Finely chop salt, grated zest, sugar, chopped rosemary, thyme leaves, pepper, and 4 tsp. aniseed in a food processor.

Place turkey, skin side down, on a cutting board. Use a knife to score down long oblong bone in the center of breast. Turn skin side up and press down on breastbone to flatten. You should hear a crack and feel the bones give way. Rub all over with salt mixture; place turkey, skin side up, on a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet and chill, uncovered, 6–18 hours. (Note: Of course, I forgot to do this, so I put it in the refrigerator that morning, then roasted it about 4 hours later, and it was still amazing.)

Turkey into ovenPreheat oven to 450°. Arrange onions, carrots, celery, garlic, and thyme and rosemary sprigs in a roasting pan. Rinse turkey, pat dry, and place, skin side up, on top of vegetables; let sit at room temperature 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat oil, orange zest strips, and remaining aniseed in a small saucepan until oil is sizzling, about 2 minutes; let cool slightly.

Turkey on boardBrush turkey with oil, add ½ cup water to pan, and roast turkey 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350° and continue to roast, brushing with oil every 20 minutes, until skin is deep golden brown and crisp and an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 165°, about 1 hour longer. Transfer to a platter; tent with foil and let rest at least 30 minutes before carving.

Here’s their version of how to cut it up:

spatchcocked-turkey

from here

Reindeer Christmas Cookies

 - by Elizabeth

My daughter informed me that these are all over Pinterest, but I found them by following a series of links to *this* page, where I swear this cook has photoshopped her cookies to look that good.  Or maybe she’s just a better baker than I am, or maybe it’s because I substituted a cube of butter for some of that shortening — thinking it would taste better — but forgot how soft it makes cookies.  So note to self: don’t swap out the shortening.  Now, prep your stuff.

I couldn’t find baby chocolate-dipped pretzels, so if you think I was going to dip them all, you don’t know me very well.  Spend your time where it counts, and improvise the rest.  So I cut all my sort-of-mini pretzels in half.  Antlers are kind of hoary looking, aren’t they?

I purchased minty white chocolate M&Ms for the nose.  They come in a package with red and white.  We ate all the white ones, while saving the red ones for this project.  I had also purchased mini M&Ms for the eyes.  We decided we liked brown and blue, and that the reindeer with the green eyes looked like Zombie Reindeer (so that would be for a different holiday).

Make up a double batch of the dough in the Christmas Kiss cookies. Roll them into 1-inch balls, but I have to admit that I used my cookie scooper, which I think is 1 and 1/2 inches. Place a couple of scoops of sugar in a large plastic baggie, drop in the balls of cookie dough, and shake lightly to coat them with sugar (so much easier than rolling them around in a dish).

Flatten them slightly with the bottom of a glass, then pinch their “nose” slightly, to get that elongated shape.  Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, then remove from the oven.  QUICKLY set in a matching pair of antlers, then do the nose, then the eyes last.  Or get someone to help you: my husband did all the antlers while I was throwing on noses and eyeballs.

Let cool on the cookie sheet.  When mostly cool, transfer to a rack.

NOTE: you can see I used parchment paper on this batch.  You can buy it in rolls from the grocery store or (now) from Costco.  If you don’t use parchment paper, the world won’t end.  However, you may want to transfer your cookies to the cooling rack when they are still sort of warm, instead waiting until they are really cool.

Christmas Kiss Cookies

 - by Elizabeth

Cream together:

1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar.

Add:

1 egg
2 Tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (not flavoring, use extract!).

Mix together then add to creamed mixture:

1 3/4 cup flour  (I use 3/4 cup whole wheat flour, and 1 cup white flour)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Form into balls about 1 inch in diameter, roll in granulated (white) sugar.  Bake in 350 oven for about 8-10 minutes or until set.  Take out of oven and immediately press a chocolate kiss into center.  Remove to wire rack  to cool.  Kisses will get soft as they take on the heat of the cookies, but will firm up again as the cookies cool.

Cranberry-Cherry Pinwheels

 - by Elizabeth

A few years ago I bought this sliver of a book, Joy of Cooking Christmas Cookies, and thumbed through it to find a cookie or two to try.  I placed little pieces of torn paper as bookmarks–which the book still has.  But I don’t need one for this page, as I’ve made it so much, it opens by itself exactly here.  I like these cookies because you can make them ahead of time and store them in the freezer.  Some slicing and a quick bake and they’re ready to go.  They are also one of the few things on the holiday table that is lower in fat, but they still have a delicious flavor with the sweet-tangy cherry-cranberry filling and the dough with its grated orange zest. There are a few steps to this recipe, but it’s not difficult.

Filling
Combine in a medium saucepan:
1 and 1/2 cups dried cranberries ( 6 ounces)
1 jar (10 ounces) cherry preserves
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Simmer, stirring frequently, for 5-8 minutes, or until the mixture is soft and most liquid is absorbed.  Transfer to a food processor and process until smooth.  Cover and refrigerate until cool.  Filling may be stored up to 48 hours.  Let return to room temperature and stire well before using.

Dough
Using a wire whisk, thoroughly stir together and set aside:
3 and 1/3 cups all-purpose flour (16.75 ounces)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Using an electric mixer, beat together until very well blended:
1/4 cup butter, softened (2 oz.)
3 tablespoons corn or canola oil
1 and 1/4 cups sugar (8.75 oz.)
3 large egg whites
2 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-1/2 teaspoons grated orange peel (about 1 small orange)

Beat in half of the dry ingredients until just incorporated, then stir in the remainder until well blended.

Divide the dough in half.  Form each half into a rough oblong shape about 6 inches long.  Center each log on a 12-inch-long sheet of wax paper.  Cover with a second 12-inch-long sheet of wax paper.  Press, then roll each log into an even 11-inch square, occasionally checking the underside of the dough and smooth out any creases.  Patch the dough as necessary to make the sides relatively straight.

Working with one square of dough at a time, peel away and discard the top sheet of wax paper.  Spread half of the filling evening over the entire surface of the dough; the filling layer will be thin.

Using the second sheet of wax paper, roll up the pinwheel, by easing the dough onto itself; use the paper to assist you.

Wrap the roll in wax paper (I use the existing sheet), and twist the ends to prevent unrolling.  Place on a tray or cookie sheet.  Repeat with the remaining dough.  Freeze for at least 2 and 1/2 hours or until the rolls are firm enough to be cut neatly.  (If you wish to bake them much later, place the rolls in a plastic bag for up to a month.)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Line a cookie sheet with a sheet of parchment paper.  Cut the rolls crosswise into scant 1/4″ slices.  Place them on the prepared cookie sheets, spacing them about 1 1/2 inches apart.  Try as I might, my cookies are always misshapen, so I kind of squeeze them into shape at this point.   Bake in the upper third of the oven for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are browned and the tops are VERY lightly colored.  One of the attractions for this cookie is that they are pale with that brilliantly colored red filling.

Drag the entire sheet of parchment paper from your baking sheet to a cooling rack, and let them cool.  Store, airtight, for 10 days, or freeze for up to one month.  I promise you no one will complain that yours are as lopsided as mine.

I made them up into favors for my lesson to the church ladies at Christmastime.  Here’s the front, and then the back.

Some time ago I had purchased 8 1/2 by 11- inch sheets of “sticker” paper.  I print out what I want to say, cut them into shape then peel and stick them on the treat bags.  The filling is kind of sticky sometimes, so I sandwiched a piece of fancy wax paper between the two cookies.

Stuffed Pumpkin

 - by Elizabeth

I first heard about this on NPR, when Dorie Greenspan was interviewed for a fall baking dish and also to promote her new book of Around my French Table.  Which I promptly put in my Amazon cart and which I now possess.  But because she encourages you to make this recipe your own, mine is nothing like hers except you start with a hollowed-out pumpkin and somewhere along the line you fill it will good things, put it in a 350 degree over for 90 minutes to two hours.  So I bought a sugar pumpkin at Trader Joe’s one day, and since we were having company for Halloween Night (the  trick-or-treaters in our neighborhood all grew up and went to college), I decided to try this.  Mine is stuffed with a small pasta blend (from Trader Joe’s), mushrooms and some Jimmy Dean’s sage sausage.  I roasted it with the lid on for 90 minutes, and it was done.  It makes a great presentation.

Start with the way Dorie starts: cut the lid off a pumpkin and hollow it out, scraping the flesh slightly to get rid of the stringy bits.  Sprinkle the inside cavity with salt, pepper and nutmeg.  I found it easier to grind the salt and pepper onto my cutting board, then pinch by pinch, sprinkle it around the inside cavity (the nutmeg went on from the spice bottle, no trouble).  Set aside.

In a medium size pot, brown the sausage well.  Turn off the heat, set aside.

Wash and cut about 3/4 pound crimini mushrooms into chunks.  In 1 Tablespoon butter, sautee half of the mushrooms in a saucepan (you’ll use this saucepan later for the pasta cooking); don’t crowd.  As they get done, dump them into the sausage, stir to mix.

When mushrooms are done, in about 1 Tablespoon olive oil, cook until slightly soft: 1 shallot, chopped and 1 large (2 small, or 3 weensy) cloves of garlic.  Stir in 1 and 1/4 cups of Harvest Grains Blend** mix (about 1/2 of the package), then add in 1 can of reduced salt Swanson’s chicken broth.  Cook until al dente–it will continue to cook in the pumpkin.  Add this slightly soupy mix to the sausage and mushrooms; stir to mix.

Spoon into your pumpkin, and don’t pack it down.  Just loosely spoon it in.  Set the pumpkin on a cookie sheet that has been lined with a sheet of parchment (or a Silpat) and bake at 350 for 90 minutes to 2 hours.  Check at 90 minutes.  The tip of knife blade should go in easily.  If the mixture is too soupy (mine wasn’t, but Dorie’s was) leave the lid off for the last few minutes.

Serve with freshly grated cheese, to be added atop the melange.  We served it by slicing it into wedges, then scooping out the mushroom/sausage mixture into a shallow bowl, topped with the cheese.  Encourage your guests to mix the cooked pumpkin with the rest–delicious.

I decided to try this again tonight, to see if we still liked it.  We did.  It’s perfect for a fall supper, and since a) today’s the last day in November–made it under the wire for fall, and b) we’re supposed to get a ten-year wind event tonight.  The house is creaking and moaning, and it feels like a Winnie-the-Pooh blustery day.

**Harvest Grain Blend: Could substitute a mix of pearl couscous, red quinoa, orzo and miniscule baby garbanzo beans.  At least that’s what the package says is in there.

Cranberry Sauce Duo

 - by Elizabeth

We went back and forth this year on whether or not to go out to a restaurant or stay home and cook.  Out?  In?  And since all our children were taken care of and I heard it was going to rain, In was what won in the end.  I went looking for my mother’s most recent cranberry sauce recipe–tore apart all my stashes of clipped, stained, printed-out papers but couldn’t find it.  I went to Epicurious and searched.  Then I realized I probably had it on my computer.  Duh.

So here are two cranberry sauce recipes.  The first is from Epicurious, dated 2000. It’s a bit tart, but with the addition of ginger and the pepper, has a good tang to it. The second came from my mother and I don’t know where she got it from.

Cranberry Relish, from Epicurious

2 oranges
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, cut in fine julienne
1 bag (12 ounces) fresh or frozen cranberries
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

Preparation
1. Peel 1 orange and cut the zest (orange part only) into a very fine julienne, as thin as possible; set aside. Squeeze both oranges for juice; set aside.

2. Combine sugar and lemon juice in a small sauté pan. Heat up slowly and continue cooking until the sugar begins to caramelize. If necessary, wash down the sides of the pan by brushing with a little water to keep the sugar from burning.

3. When the sugar is caramel colored, add the julienned ginger and orange zest. Cook for about 1 minute, then add the cranberries, orange juice and pepper. Continue to cook on medium-high heat, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes or until the cranberries are slightly broken but not mushy (frozen cranberries will take about 7 minutes). Remove from the heat and let cool.

Cook’s Notes: I like my berry sauce a little soft, so I cooked it a little longer than they said.  I also tasted it and added about 2 Tablespoons sugar as it was a bit mouth-puckery too tart for me.  I think my oranges were smaller so everything was more intense.  I also grated my fresh ginger, as I keep it in the freezer and there was no way it could have been julienned.

Mom’s Cranberry Sauce, 2006

Cook 12 oz bag fresh cranberries in 1 cup water until skins pop open.  Add 2 cups sugar, scant cup chopped golden raisens, 1 chopped Granny Smith apple, zest and juice of 1 lemon, zest and juice of 1 orange.  Cook 15 minutes or until slightly thickened.  Add 1/2 cup chopped walnuts.

(The best yet, she says.)

Pear, Cranberry and Gingersnap Crumble

 - by Elizabeth

I regularly haunt Smitten Kitchen’s website as she cooks food that I can make, with only a few photos here and there, which makes it an easy read. (I don’t particularly object to a raft of photos, as they are helpful when a new technique is being presented, but occasionally they can get out of hand.)  But I’d have to say it’s her combination of ingredients that are the usual standouts.  She just has a way with food.  Summer Strawberry Cake is one of hers, too, and if you haven’t made that this summer, then you’ve really missed out.

Anyway, here’s a fall treat, made beautiful with three kinds of pears and cranberries and an interesting crumble on top, made from gingersnap cookies.  I bought a box in the grocery store and on first glance, I thought I’d bought a box of brown thin hockey pucks.  I snapped them (with some effort) into fourths then whirled the 16-18 cookies in my food processor to make the crumbs (although a ziploc bag and a swift firm hand with a kitchen mallet would also do the trick).  Amazingly, with the suggested addition of the ginger and pepper, those hideous store-bought cookies turned out okay atop the steaming, juicy pears and cranberries.

Adapated from Smitten Kitchen, who adapted it from Sweet Melissa Patisserie

Crumble
1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
3 tablespoons (37 grams) packed dark or light brown sugar
1 cup gingersnap crumbs (4 ounces or 113 grams or about 16 storebought cookies)
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon table salt
Pinch of white pepper, especially if your gingersnaps aren’t particularly snappish
1/4 cup (1/2 stick  or 113 grams) butter, melted and cooled

Beauty shot of the pears.
From left to right: Bartlett (yellowish), Anjou, and Bosc.
The Anjou and Bosc are a little crisper than the Bartlett, but cook up well.

And here’s my trick for coring pears: a clay tool from an art supply store.

Filling
2 pounds (about 4 to 5) large ripe pears (I used combination of Anjou, Bartlett and Bosc) peeled, halved, cored and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces or 170 grams) fresh cranberries
1 tablespoon (15 ml) lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
2 tablespoons (14 grams) cornstarch

Do you have one of these microplanes for zesting?  I figure I used about 1/2 of the lemon for this recipe.  You can freeze the remainder, wrapped up in a square of wax paper, then into a ziploc baggie.  Label it, please, before you stick it in your freezer. (You’ll thank me later.)

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Stir together the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, gingersnap crumbs, ginger and salt. Stir in the melted butter until large crumbs form.

In a large bowl, mix the pears, cranberries, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla. In a small bowl, whisk the sugar and cornstarch together then toss it with the fruit mixture.

I just had to show you a picture of this before I sprinkled on the gingersnap topping.  Positively holiday-ish! I made this, doubled, for serving to the ladies in church.  Aside from the time taken to peel the pears, it’s a quick and easy recipe.

In a 1 1/2 to 2 quart baking dish, layer in the pear-cranberry mixture, then sprinkle the gingersnap crumble over the fruit. Set the crumble on a foil-lined baking sheet (if you are worried about it  bubbling over—I baked mine in a 9×13 pan and had no troubles) and bake it for about 45 minutes, until the crumble is a shade darker and you see juices bubbling through the crumbs. Let cool a little bit, then enjoy.

Cook’s Notes: The original recipe called for 1/2 cup [unsalted) butter in the gingersnap crumb topping; if you use that amount then the crumble will probably stay crisper an extra day.  Ours became softer the second day, but the flavor was still amazing—I wonder if it is the combination of the three pears together?  (The original merely asked for Anjou.)

And what am I doing in the photo above?  Weighing the ingredients.  You’ve noticed that all of her ingredients have a weight listed next to them.  She predicts that this will be the wave of the future, similar to what they do it in Europe. I decided to try it.  I placed the bowl on, zero-ed it out, then added each ingredient, zero-ing out after each.  I can change to kilograms from ounces on my scale; I suggest if you are going to try this, you look for that feature as well.  Instead of multiple cups and bowls, it’s just one-bowl-mixing for the dry ingredients.  Nice.

Pumpkin Spice Bundt Cake with Buttermilk Icing

 - by Elizabeth

I found this on the web, by a librarian who was having her own personal Bundt Cake Pan challenge: a new cake a day made in her much, un-used bundt pan.  I think I happened on her post right on this day, downloaded the recipe, which originally came from Gourmet Magazine in November 2005.  It is a very moist cake, mild on the spices and it is good for fall baking, leaving a delicous aroma of pumpkin in the air.

For cake
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened, plus additional for greasing bundt pan
2 1/4 – 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for dusting pan
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups canned solid-pack pumpkin (from a 15-ounce can; not pie filling)
3/4 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
For icing
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons well-shaken buttermilk
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
Special equipment: a 10-inch nonstick bundt pan (3 quart)

Preparation

Make cake:
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Butter bundt pan generously, then dust with flour, knocking out excess.

Whisk together flour (2 1/4 cups), baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, and salt in a bowl. Whisk together pumpkin, 3/4 cup buttermilk, and vanilla in another bowl.

Beat butter (1 1/2 sticks) and granulated sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes, then add eggs and beat 1 minute. Reduce speed to low and add flour and pumpkin mixtures alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture and mixing until batter is just smooth.

Spoon batter into pan, smoothing top, then bake until a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool cake in pan on a rack 15 minutes, then invert rack over cake and reinvert cake onto rack. Cool 10 minutes more.

Make icing:
While cake is cooling, whisk together buttermilk and confectioners sugar until smooth. Drizzle icing over warm cake, then cool cake completely. Icing will harden slightly.

Cooks’ note: Cake can be made 3 days ahead and kept in an airtight container at room temperature.  I used the 2 1/4 cups flour it called for, but I believe 2 1/2 cups would be better.  I substituted in 3/4 whole wheat flour for a like amount of the white flour.