Sunday, February 12, 2017

Pineapple Sage Cake

This is one of my favorite last-minute recipes for an easy offering for book club or a dinner party. I found it when we moved into the house we're currently living in and I discovered the flowering bush in the front planter was an herb called pineapple sage or tangerine sage, which is a type of salvia (salvia elegans). It will put out tons of flowers as long as you water it, and attracts bees, butterflies, and even hummingbirds. I think they die off in winter in colder areas, but this is Texas and mine appears to have been here for at least a few years now. I'm not sure cuttings of this herb are sold anywhere, so if you want some you may have to grow your own. Trust me, it's worth it.

I found this Jamie Oliver recipe while searching for uses for the large bush of it we have. I've never put the pineapple in the recipe, partly because I've never felt it was worth purchasing just for this and partly because I dislike most cooked fruit. I also have baked this in everything from one larger loaf pan to four mini Bundt cake pans to muffin tins. Don't worry if you don't have the specific pan size he wants.

1 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup honey (light wildflower or sage preferred)
5 eggs
2 tablespoons chopped pineapple sage leaves (small, new leaves have the most flavor)
3 tablespoons chopped pineapple sage flowers (optional) [these pepper the cake with red/pink confetti]
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
4 tablespoons well-squeezed, chopped pineapple
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups flour

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in honey.

Add eggs one at a time, making sure to beat one minute after each addition.

Beat in sage leaves, flowers, and lemon peel.

Stir dry ingredients together and add to butter mixture. Fold these together gently until just blended.

Pour into 4 mini loaf pans (6"x3"x2"). Bake for 45 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pan.

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